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

FILE – Perry Bellegarde, National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations, takes part in an event on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Tuesday, July 7, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Indigenous Peoples Day must be a ‘call to action’, says Assembly of First Nations chief

Discovery of children at Kamloops residential school site must lead to change, Perry Bellegarde says

The Binche Fishing Derby at Stuart Lake is fast approaching. (Binche Fishing Derby Facebook photo)
Binche shares excitement for upcoming fishing derby

“It’s more than just fishing,” says Dave Birdi

A person receives a COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward)
Local youth vaccination clinics underway

Pfizer vaccine will be used

Priya Sharma. (Submitted)
Column: Why ultimatums don’t work

By Priya Sharma It is a common misconception that people can choose… Continue reading

The border crossing into the United States is seen during the COVID-19 pandemic in Lacolle, Que. on February 12, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
VIDEO: Border quarantine to soon lift for fully vaccinated Canadians

Eligible travellers must still take multiple COVID-19 tests

Golden Ears Mountains, captured in May 2021. (Black Press Media files)
2nd year of day passes required for entry into 5 provincial parks launches in B.C.

Pilot program seeks to protect the environment by addressing visitor surges amid the COVID-19 pandemic

Lincoln Mckoen. (YouTube)
Anglican bishop of the central Interior resigns over sexual misconduct allegations

Lincoln Mckoen was elected as a bishop of the Territory of the People region last year

The former Kamloops Indian Residential School on the Tk’emlups te Secwépemc reserve. (Allen Douglas/Kamloops This Week)
Tk’emlups preparing for archaeological work at B.C. residential school site where remains found

The 215 graves are, to the band’s knowledge, undocumented deaths for which it is still collecting records

Fans watch the warm-up before Game 6 between the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Montreal Canadiens in NHL playoff hockey action Saturday, May 29, 2021 in Montreal. Quebec’s easing of COVID-19 restrictions will allow 2,500 fans to attend the game for the first time in fourteen months. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Two-thirds of Canadians say governments shouldn’t lift all COVID-19 restrictions

Poll reports Canadians who gained pandemic weight say they have gained 16 pounds on average

Paul Bernardo is shown in this courtroom sketch during Ontario court proceedings via video link in Napanee, Ont., on October 5, 2018. Teen killer and serial rapist Paul Bernardo is set for a parole hearing today. The designated dangerous offender, has been eligible for full parole for more than three years. Bernardo’s horrific crimes in the 1980s and early 1990s include for kidnapping, torturing and killing Kristen French and Leslie Mahaffy near St. Catharines, Ont. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Greg Banning
Killer rapist Paul Bernardo faces parole hearing today; victim families opposed

Designated dangerous offender has been eligible for full parole for more than three years.

People look over the damage after a tornado touched down in Mascouche, Que., north of Montreal, Monday, June 21, 2021. Dozens of homes were damaged and one death has been confirmed. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
One dead and extensive damage as tornado hits Mascouche, Que., north of Montreal

Damage reported in several parts of the city, and emergency teams dispatched to sectors hardest hit

Chilliwack secondary school’s principal is apologizing after a quote equating graduation with the end of slavery in the U.S. was included in the 2020-2021 yearbook. (Screenshot from submitted SnapChat)
B.C. student’s yearbook quote equates grad to end of slavery; principal cites editing error

Black former student ‘disgusted’ as CSS principal apologizes for what is called an editing error

Skeena MLA Ellis Ross. (Photo by Peter Versteege)
BC Liberal leadership candidate condemns ‘senseless violence’ of Okanagan church fires

Skeena MLA Ellis Ross says reconciliation isn’t about revenge for past tragedies

Most Read