LONGMONT, Colo. -- A man’s best friend turned enemy Saturday night after a 55-year-old woman suffered serious injuries when she tried breaking up a fight among her four dogs.
The woman is recovering at home while her dogs are at Aspen Meadow Veterinary Specialists. It’s an unusual situation and a dangerous one that police said could have ended with a loss of life.
“We heard a commotion going on outside,” neighbor Ryan Bloemker said.
He and his wife, Lori, couldn’t quite distinguish the strange noise.
“We thought maybe it was a fox or a raccoon getting into our chicken coop,” Bloemker said.
But when they went outside, they immediately knew the significance of the sounds. A 911 recording captured Lori calling for help.
“Hi. I think my neighbor’s dog is attacking her,” she says.
Police responded to 21 Exner Place in Longmont. On the 911 recording, a police officer could be heard shouting, "A lot of screaming from the backyard.”
Their neighbor was attacked on her deck by her three English bull terriers when she tried breaking up a fight between them and her Saint Bernard. On the 911 call, the neighbor is heard screaming in the background as Lori tries to give dispatchers information.
“Massive dog fight. We’ve got them separated,” a police officer says in the police radio recordings.
The dogs’ owner told police the female bull terrier does not get along with one of the male bull terriers.
“And when she let them out in the backyard, they crossed paths and a fight broke out. (The owner) got stuck in the middle of it,” Longmont police spokesman Jeff Satur said. “Our officers used pepper spray, and batons to rescue the female. She was very seriously injured."
But they had to stun gun on a fourth dog, a bull terrier, until they could subdue it. Police said they’re glad they didn’t have to resort to lethal force.
“Firing a round in a neighborhood is risky. So they showed great restraint,” Satur said.
Police also said neighbors probably saved the dog owner’s life though the Bloemkers don’t feel very heroic.
“It made me feel unprepared as a neighbor. How could I have helped more?” Ryan Bloemker said.
“It could have turned differently. We don’t know the situation, what the dogs might have done with her if it had been longer,” Lori Bloemker said.
Neighbors also said they heard the woman say the dogs had bitten off her fingers. Police said the dogs do not have history of biting anyone.
There are barking complaints and one neighbor told another neighbor he had to replace the wood planks of his fence because the bull terriers broke through it.
The dogs’ owner also reinforced the fence on her side by installing a tall section of chain link. The three bull terriers are on a 10-day quarantine to assure they don’t have rabies.
The Saint Bernard will likely be released to the owner because it didn’t bite her. It’s unknown if any of the dogs will be euthanized. The woman did not return a request for an interview.
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