On Saturday, Oct. 17, there was an uproar at the Vavenby General Store.
Vavenby resident Jim McNeilty was walking with his dog, Duke, by his side. Duke is a fairly small, lean dog and many people think of him as the town mascot. He does not usually bark or growl; he is just a really nice animal. He always stays at his master’s side and is McNeilty’s best friend.
When McNeilty and Duke were passing a vehicle in the parking lot McNeilty could see two dogs in the vehicle. He went to grab Duke but one of the dogs in the vehicle jumped through the rolled down window and grabbed Duke by the throat.
The other dog then jumped out and grabbed the helpless Duke by the rear section.
McNeilty got hold of the dog at the rear and started kicking at the dog in front.
But the two attacking dogs pulled Duke out so that “he was stretched like an elastic band” and pulled Duke and his owner around.
McNeilty called out for help and he is so thankful that George Mattenley came over. Mattenley grabbed the collar of the dog that was at Duke’s throat and both men managed to get the attacking dogs off.
Duke tried to run away but the dogs came at him again. There were enough people by then to get between the sets of dogs and Duke managed to run all the way home. When McNeilty found him, his pet was cowering in the far corner of the yard.
A Vavenby resident went into the store to bring the Clearwater owner of the attack dogs outside. Witnesses said that he had difficulty managing his dogs and getting them back in his car.
Duke’s wounds were vast and extreme. He has puncture wounds all over, including his tail, and an abscess on his rear. On his left side the hide is ripped up off of his meat.
A local resident drove McNeilty and Duke to Kamloops to a veterinarian. A drain was put in Duke’s left side to get all of the puss out and for McNeilty to flush the wound two to three times a day with a saline cleaning solution.
Duke gets a pain pill every eight to 10 hours as needed, an anti-inflammatory that is given by a syringe every 24 hours, and an antibiotic pill that he gets orally twice a day. Duke finds the pill a game and rolls it around in his mouth.
McNeilty has to watch the temperature of Duke’s leg. If it gets warm, it could mean it is infected by blood poisoning. If that is not treated right away, Duke could die.
Mattenley said that the dogs are fighting dogs. After he was knocked to the ground one of them came up behind him and bit him.
The dogs reportedly were stalking people who were trying to intervene.
Mattenley went to the clinic on Tuesday and got antibiotics.
McNeilty phoned the police on Saturday, Mattenley on Tuesday. They were told that, because there are no animal bylaws in Vavenby, the RCMP are unable to do anything. Mattenley said that he would like to see the two dogs destroyed.
McNeilty contacted the TNRD in Kamloops about the animal bylaws. He was told again that there are none but the TNRD is going to look into it more because they have had other complaints.
McNeilty has been told that his only recourse is to sue the Clearwater owner.
The general store, which now closes at 7 p.m. for the winter, has put up a donation box to help cover the vet bills. One resident is very happy with how quickly the community came together to help out.
Duke is beginning to come around. He is getting some exercise but is still limping. He’s no longer having nightmares but McNeilty can’t make a noise or sudden movement or Duke will jump, look at him, and tremble.