Pit bull protects woman during apparent domestic dispute - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Pit bull protects woman during apparent domestic dispute

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Man's best friend...or in this case, a woman's. A Sinajana man was rushed to the hospital this morning after sustaining dog bites to both his legs. And in a surprising twist, KUAM News has learned the victim is the dog's owner, and that the dog was apparently trying to protect another individual from harm.  

It was apparently a domestic disturbance when his animal instincts kicked in. "There was a situation in which there was a dog defending an owner, so animal control was contacted," said Allison Hadley, executive director of Guam Animals In Need, of Benjie, the pit bull. Early Friday morning, police and animal control were called to Benjie's family's Sinajana home after he reportedly bit his owner in the legs.

While the victim was rushed to the hospital, Benjie was transferred to GAIN. Hadley said, "When an animal bites, cats included, they are brought up to gain to be held for ten days. The ten-day hold is basically just to make sure the animal doesn't show any signs of rabies, which is, of course, for the benefit of the animal, the person or persons involved, and the community. Just to make sure that everybody is safe."

But, it appears Benjie was only trying to keep one of his masters safe, according to territorial veterinarian Dr. Tom Poole, who will have the final say in Benjie's fate. According to Dr. Poole, the victim in this case sustained non-life threatening bites to both his thighs.

The victim is the dog's owner.

Dr. Poole tells KUAM that members of the dog's human family appeared to be arguing, and had some physical contact. That's when the dog may have been prompted to attack. Hadley telling KUAM that animal bites are in fact, pretty common here in Guam. Too many for her to count.

"I would say they are. A lot of times its not reported, but I know that with gain trying to be out in the community a lot more and animal control getting out there, we're trying to educate the public on the importance of letting people know to prevent the possibility of rabies," she said.

Though pit bulls, for some, have a bad reputation, Hadley says it's really up to the dog's personality and how the owner raises the pet. "They do, and there's a handful of other breeds too that have that reputation of being extra aggressive, just a little extra in general, but it really just depends on the animals personality. Again they're just like humans  they will all develop their own personalities, but it also has to do with how they're raised, how they're socialized," she said.

"Unfortunately, it does happen, which really drives home the importance of regularly socializing and exercising your animals; of course, we want them to protect our homes and stuff, but it's important to start them at a young age introducing them to new people. Other animals so there aren't fear, aggressions, just so they know the people that you care about," she said.

Ultimately, Dr. Poole will decide what's next for Benjie.

He'll consider the dog's behavior, if the dog was provoked, and the severity and location of the dog bite.

At this time, he tells KUAM it's too early to tell.

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