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Joker, a rottweiler/bullmastiff mix leapt over a ramshackle fence to attack a chihuahua in the community of Temple in Calgary late in May 2010. This dog was "already on the radar" of Calgary bylaw cops due to past bad behavior, having one week earlier leapt the fence to attack another dog and the teenage boy walking it.

The chihuahua was being walked by a friend of April Horvath, the dog's owner, Kara Hein. Kara immediately attempted to shield her friend's little pet, so the vicious dog bit her in the face, hand, and back of legs. It even bit a veneer off her tooth! Residents of the quiet street heard the woman's screaming but could only stand witness to the nightmare.

Kara's husband John rushed his wife to the hospital with multiple wounds, and she was released later that day, still fearful after the incident, "haunted by the sensation of teeth sinking into skin."

The chihuahua, Midget, with multiple bite wounds clear to the bone, was taken to the veterinarian. She was not expected to live, but better luck awaited, and after emergency surgery, Midget was released to the owners the following day, beginning her recovery with a cone-collar. The photo above shows Kara and April holding Midget.

The vicious dog, Joker, was voluntarily released to the officials whose procedure is to quarantine such a dog for ten days to make sure it isn't ill or contageous, then euthenize it. Joker's owner, who would only say his name was Larry, is shown in the photo below, putting Joker into the doggy paddy wagon.

Larry was fined $850, besides losing his dog. He said, "I feel bad. That dog's been in my life since the day it was born." Though admitting he had no choice but to release the dog to the authorities, he continued to insist Joker was completely tame, and that he trained his dog carefully. Right. In the same way he repaired the unsightly broken-down fence.

April said, "I think it's an owner who creates bad situations," as she doesn't believe in bad dogs, only impaired ownership and training. Kara, a dog lover as well, says she hates to think of Joker being euthenized, despite being attacked. She'd never seen the dog walked, so some degree of neglect was evident. Given the circumstances, she said sadly, "I don't see the alternative, it could've been a kid."


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