B.C. dog owners warn about chain collars after puppy almost strangled

B.C. dog owners warn about chain collars after puppy almost strangled

Young Rottweiler pup couldn’t breathe after another dog caught tooth on his collar

What started out as a fun trip to Kamloops to give their young dog some social experience with other canines, ended up turning into “a traumatic experience and a trip to the hospital” for a Louis Creek couple.

Debra and Dan Brooks stopped by the Star/Journal office last week to share their experience in the hope that what happened to them “can be avoided for other dog owners by getting the word out”.

The Brooks retired to this area from Maple Ridge some two months ago and say they are really enjoying their new home and community. Everything seemed to be going just fine, and they especially have been enjoying their young Rottweiler pup, Ava, who has just turned eight months old. In an effort to give Ava every chance to become well socialized with other dogs they have been taking her to an off leash dog park in Kamloops on a regular basis.

Last week they made the trip in again, and were happy to find Ava a large white German Shepherd/ Maremma cross dog called Jack to play with at the park.

“Everything was going fine,” said Debra.

“The two dogs were have a wonderful time playing together off leash while we talked with Jack’s owner.”

She noted that they have always used a quick release collar on their dog which was what Ava was wearing on this day. Jack was wearing a chain collar or ‘choke chain’ as some call it.

“We were just talking and then we heard one of the dogs yelp,” said Debra, “We thought someone had just got a little too rough and looked over to see how they were. Then we realized that something was wrong as they seemed to have their collars caught or something.”

Dan tells that the couple ran over to the dogs and unclipped the quick release collar on Ava, but then realized that the problem was a lot more serious than that.

“Somehow, as they had been playing, Ava had gotten her bottom jaw under the chock chain on Jack’s neck and it was hooked behind her canines,” said Dan, “It looked like when this had happened she had done a couple of crocodile rolls to try and get loose and that just made the problem worse.”

Dan said Jack was in difficulty because he was having his airway constricted by the other dog being tangled in the chain and trying to get loose.

“I got hold of the dog and tried to twist the chain around so they could get free but Ava was digging in and trying to get away, and Jack was starting to fight for his life as he realized his lights were going out,” told Dan.

“I got my hands into the chain to try and give Jack some room to breath but by that time he was trying to bite his way free from the chain. He wasn’t biting me specifically, he was just trying to bite his way free from what had him. My hand took a lot of punishment while I was trying to help him.”

Dan said at that point he realized Jack was going to suffocate if they didn’t get him free “fast”, so he told Debra to find someone with bolt cutters or wire cutters.

“I ran over to the parking lot as fast as I could go,” said Debra.

“I could see a public works truck for the city just pulling out of the parking lot and I flagged him down and quickly told him what we needed, but he said he had never used that truck before and had no idea where anything was or if it had bolt cutters.”

She then ran over to a BC Hydro truck, but was told he did not have what she needed.

Meanwhile Dan says by this time Jack had stopped fight the collar and was starting to go limp.

“I thought he was going to die right there and we couldn’t do anything to help,” said Dan.

“I thought the only thing I can do is try to flip AVA (the smaller of the two dogs) over to get the twists out of the collar.”

It wasn’t easy holding on to Jack and trying get a grip on Ava to flip her over enough times to take the tension out of the collar.

“I didn’t think I could do it, but just as Debra and the public works guy ran over with a pair of bolt cutters I was successful in flipping our dog and we were able to get her jaw out of the collar and free Jack.”

“We thought he was dying,” tells Debra.

“He just laid there on the grass on his side for a long time, and then he very slowly staggered to his feet.”

The couple say they were ecstatic to see Jack finally be able to walk away with his owner, hoping he would take the dog to a vet to be checked out. Then it was time to get Dan to the hospital as he had severe bite wounds to his hand and all of his fingers.

“I was bleeding everywhere by this time,” said Dan, who first made sure that Ava had come through the experience in one piece, except for a scrape on her nose.

“It is a good job that she has a strong jaw being the breed that she is, or she could have ended up with a broken jaw.”

Then it was off to Royal Inland for repair to Dan’s hand that had taken multiple bites, and to be given a tetanus shot and a round of antibiotics.

“We were treated really well at the hospital,” said Dan. “We can’t say enough about what they did for us.”

There is a warning in this story for other pet owners, and the Brooks very much want to get that message out there.

“We want to encourage dog owners to use quick release collars, and to not turn your dog loose with a chain collar, or a collar that fits loosely,” said Dan.

“We want to prevent any other dog owner from having the experience that we had,” said Debra, “It was horrifying. I never ever would have thought of this happening. It has been very traumatic for us, if Dan hadn’t done what he did I think Jack would have been dead. Jack had blood all over him but it was Dan’s blood.”

“We are so happy that the situation turned out the way it did,” said Dan.

“It could have gone sideways really fast.”

Both hope that this article will help others and they will be encouraging off leash dog parks to post signage warning pet owners about not using a quick release collar on a loose dog.

“I wish we had got a contact number from Jack’s owner,” said Dan, “I would really like to know that Jack is okay.”

Just Posted

North Island Eagles logo
North Island Eagles give update on the upcoming 2021-2022 season

The North Island Eagles minor rep hockey teams are getting ready for… Continue reading

Ma Murrays 2021 virtual ceremony screenshot
North Island Gazette wins big at 2021 Ma Murray Newspaper Awards

Zoe Ducklow and Bill McQuarrie both won gold at the online ceremony

Port Hardy council has agreed to cancel Canada Day celebrations in wake of the discovery of the remains of 215 children being found on the grounds of a former residential school. (North Island Gazette file photo)
Council votes to cancel Canada Day celebrations in wake of mass grave sites being found

Coun. Treena Smith made the motion for the chamber to not host Canada Day celebrations this year

Port Hardy Fire Rescue responded to an early morning fire around 3:50 a.m. on Sunday, June 13. Two porta-potties were on fire at the Visitor’s Centre on Hastings Street. Anyone with information is asked to contact the RCMP at 250-949-6335. (Port Hardy Fire Rescue photo)
Firefighters respond to early morning fire near visitor centre in Port Hardy

Two porta-potties were on fire at the Visitor’s Centre on Hastings Street

North Island MLA Michele Babchuk. Photo contributed
COMMENTARY: MLA Michele Babchuk talks the future of forestry

‘These forests are important to every single one of us, myself included’

The border crossing on Highway 11 in Abbotsford heading south (file)
VIDEO: Western premiers call for clarity, timelines on international travel, reopening rules

Trudeau has called Thursday meeting, premiers say they expect to leave that meeting with a plan

St. Joseph's Mission site is located about six kilometres from Williams Lake First Nation. (Photo submitted)
Williams Lake First Nation to search residential school site for unmarked graves

St. Joseph’s Mission Indian Residential School operated from 1886 to 1981

Tuesday’s Lotto Max draw went unclaimed. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Tuesday’s Lotto Max draw went unclaimed. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lotto Max jackpot goes unclaimed again

42 of the 64 Maxmillion prizes of $1 million were won, the majority were sold in Ontario

FILE - This July 6, 2017 file photo shows prescription drugs in a glass flask at the state crime lab in Taylorsville, Utah. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File)
Contaminants in generic drugs may cause long-term harm to DNA: B.C. researcher

Scientist says findings suggest high volume overseas facilities require strict regulation

Restaurant patrons enjoy the weather on a patio in Vancouver, B.C., on April 5, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Labour shortages, closed borders major obstacles to B.C. restaurant, tourism restarts

Industry expert says it won’t start to recover until international travellers can visit

(Black Press Media file)
Dirty money: Canadian currency the most germ-filled in the world, survey suggests

Canadian plastic currency was found to contain 209 bacterial cultures

(pixabay file shot)
B.C. ombudsperson labels youth confinement in jail ‘unsafe,’ calls for changes

Review states a maximum of 22 hours for youth, aged 12 from to 17, to be placed in solitary

Eleonore Alamillo-Laberge, 6, reads a book in Ottawa on Monday, June 12, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Parents will need to fight ‘COVID learning slump’ over summer: B.C. literacy experts

Parents who play an active role in educating their children this summer can reverse the slump by nearly 80%, says Janet Mort

Most Read