Beloved pet dies in pit bull attack

A Keremeos couple is mourning the loss of their small dog, following a pit bull attack last Friday.

Angel, a 10-year-old maltese shitzu, died in the arms of her owner Donna Stolz. The second dog is slated to be euthanized today, Tuesday.

"It has left a hole in my heart," said Stolz. "I had Angel for 10 years, and you couldn't have asked for a better soul mate and little companion."

Stolz, who lives with her husband Wayne in Keremeos, had just carried the little dog out of the house to go to the bathroom, when the attack took place.

She turned around and the next thing she knew the bigger dog had Angel in its mouth and was tossing her around like a rag doll. 

"It was such a shock, her intestines and liver were right on the steps," she said.

Stolz lay down on the pathway with Angel, and finally a group of people who were across the street came over.

She called the police and the female officer who showed up, took Stolz and Angel to a veterinary hospital in Osoyoos.

The dog was dead on arrival and Stolz asked that she be cremated. 

Cpl. Martin Trudeau said the call came in to the Keremeos RCMP detachment around 4:30 p.m., but by the time an officer arrived on scene it was too late.

He said the incident started when the pit bull got away from a home across the street unbeknownst to the owners, ran to the neighbour's home and  attacked the shitzu.

"It was just in the front yard doing its thing, and the other dog mauled it," he said. "It appears to be purely prey driven."

The dogs were separated, but by then it was too late.

Police officers had not dealt with this dog before, but Wayne Stolz said they heard from a friend the dog had attacked another two weeks ago. 

Once the police determined it was not a criminal matter, they contacted the bylaw officer in Keremeos on Monday. Trudeau later learned from the officer, the family had agreed to voluntarily turn the dog over.

The pit bull was taken to Penticton. No one answered the door at the home, where the dog lived.

"It was very traumatic for the owners," said Trudreau. "A very unfortunate incident with both families suffering the loss of a pet."

Donna and Wayne Stolz said losing Angel is not only hard because she was a good companion. In 2003, the couple got the dog in Okanagan Falls, after the loss of their son Wayne Paul Stolz in a car accident in February of 2002.

In that incident the car Wayne was travelling in from Kelowna was completely crushed by lumber that spilled off a truck.

"That is the reason we got Angel, because losing her son, took half her, (Donna's), heart away," said Wayne. "So we went and looked at this little doll of a dog in Okanagan Falls, and Donna fell in love with her."

He added the only way the couple is coping now, is knowing the other dog is being euthanized, saving them from months of hassle dealing with the situation. 

"It gives us very slight closure on it," he said. "At least we don't have to pay for the lawyer, just the vet."

That in itself will be a hardship. The couple is on social assistance. Donna collects disability, while Wayne only works on call at a  liquor store.

One other small comfort, is that two days after Angel's death, they took in a small black cat they noticed freezing out in the street.

"Maybe it's a sign that Wayne and Angel in heaven want us to have another pet," said Wayne. "She ate Angel's food and then slept where she liked to sleep."

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