Start A Petition

Rescued Dog Mauls Retired Police Officer in Minn.

Animals  (tags: bulldog, attacks, rescuers, sadness )

- 3158 days ago -
ST. PAUL, Minn. -- A Minnesota man who rescued a bulldog from a shelter is in the hospital after the dog attacked him, severing an ear and tearing away the skin from most of his face

Select names from your address book   |   Help

We hate spam. We do not sell or share the email addresses you provide.


Rhonda Maness (580)
Friday October 30, 2009, 12:39 pm
Thanks Terry

Alice B (241)
Friday October 30, 2009, 12:55 pm
This story really is extremely harmfully reported - first of all the photo is not of the type of dog, bulldog, that is being reported about in the story. The photo used is of a rottweiler or rottweiler mix - thus continuing "Breed" stereotypes for rotties which are SO wrong! It is NOT the breed of dog but the training and/or rehab that determines the dog's actions. Second, we have no report as to what rehab/retraining the dog received if any. Many dogs left at shelters have been abused, especially those from the socalled "bully breeds" including bulldogs - many had been maltreated to "toughen them up" and/or for dogfighting. We have NO information about what this particular bulldog's history was when it was taken into the shelter originally. This badly written sensationalized news story is harmful to dogs and to humans both because it perpetuates stereotypes while doing absolutely nothing to educate the public about proper care, training, rescue, rehab and adopting-out of vulnerable dogs.
Only through proper public education, policy changes and better funding for shelters and rescue agencies will we help to prevent tragedies that otherwise might not have happened.
For information about proper rescue and rehab/etc. for "bully breeds" e.g. pitbulls and rottweilers, please check out our outstanding local rescue/rehab/adoption agency, A Rotta Love Plus, via their website:

Gorilly Girl (339)
Friday October 30, 2009, 1:07 pm
Alice not all stories will have the proper pics but if one reads the stories they will see. Lone wasnt trying to portray this story as a rottie.. Lone I know you were not directing this pic to the story and most of us on here know that.

Big Goirlly Hugs

Lone W (1428)
Friday October 30, 2009, 1:25 pm
Alice,i'm sorry for the picture but they had it there on one of the storys that had a copywright i knew it wasn't a boxer but when you spend hours getting stoys worth putting on you try to get one that is close to the story, i don't understand why the boxer did that anyway they are good dogs, what a surprise it was to me my daughter has one and it's the nicest dog you would ever want to met. love you t.

liz c (827)
Friday October 30, 2009, 1:35 pm
I agree Alice--I also wish that a Rotty had not been used. I am a Rotty rescuer. But I agree with Gorilly and Terry also. I know that it wassnt done intentionally-and I know how hard you work on these stories Terry-and I understand how you can just grab a picture when you are so busy. Actually Terry it wasnt a boxer either --it was a bulldog. thank you for all that you do Terry. but I must say that it disturbed me to see a villanous Rotty in the picture.

Susan D (116)
Friday October 30, 2009, 3:42 pm
I would think the reason the dog did this is because he is emotionally disturbed by something bad in his past. When animals are in shelters, you tend to know only their recent past, such as "neglected" or "found wandering".In the animal's past life, there may have been serious abuse. Something could have triggered a memory of this, that made him react.

Gorilly Girl (339)
Friday October 30, 2009, 3:45 pm
Yes susan you never know with a rescue,,,,hate to say it but it is true. Its like a vetern at times that went through a war...some freak out over the slightest of things....and it isnt thier fault or the dogs.

Big gorilly Hugs

Irene M (19)
Friday October 30, 2009, 4:04 pm
Thanks, Terry.

Kathy Chadwell (354)
Friday October 30, 2009, 8:26 pm
I hate those half a-- stories:) So I found the entire one.

Rescued dog mauls man in vicious attack in Woodbury
Owner, 53, hospitalized after bulldog tears at his face and severs an ear
By Bob Shaw
Updated: 10/29/2009 11:32:41 PM CDT

A dog rescued by a retired police officer attacked him Sunday inflicting hideous wounds on his face.

"The doctors and nurses have never seen anything like this," said John Wess, a friend of the victim.

Jim Stewart, 53, of Woodbury, reportedly suffered a severed ear and had the skin torn away from most of his face in the attack. He was listed Thursday evening in good condition at Regions Hospital in St. Paul.

"He has not seen himself in a mirror, and we are pretty worried about that," said Wess, a retired St. Paul police officer and longtime friend. "He was Mr. Hollywood, a good-looking guy who wouldn't talk to you without looking at his reflection in a window."

The attacker was a bulldog named Igor, which Stewart had obtained from an animal rescue group in Texas.

Ironically, someone representing the Texas group inspected the place where Igor would be living to ensure "Jim was good enough to own the dog," said Amy Klinefelter, who owns the town home she shares with Stewart.

Stewart retired from the police department in Hudson, Wis., in 1998, Wess said. After an American bulldog he had owned for eight years died in May, Stewart began looking for a replacement.

Wess said Stewart searched the Internet and found a group in Texas trying to find a home for a dog named Igor. Wess didn't know the name of the group or anything about the dog's background.

For five months, Igor lived in harmony with Stewart, Klinefelter and her dog and two cats. "There was no sign of trouble. He was a very sweet dog," Klinefelter said.

About 9:30 p.m. Sunday, Stewart was watching TV in the basement with the dog when Klinefelter heard a noise. "It was like a thumping sound, like someone hitting a ball," she said no growling or shouting.

She went downstairs to see a nightmarish scene the dog standing over a barely conscious Stewart. Blood was spattered about, the skin of the lower half of Stewart's face was hanging loose, and one of his ears was on the floor.

The dog made no sound and wasn't moving around. Klinefelter grabbed it.

"He was not barking," she said. "He just looked at me."

Klinefelter shoved the dog into the garage and called for help.

The 911 operator told her to put a towel on Stewart's face. "She said, 'I can't his face is gone!' " said Wess. "(Igor) ripped one of his eyelids but not the eye, thank God."

Doctors at Regions worked on Stewart for seven hours. He has been in and out of consciousness all week.

"I asked what happened, and he said he couldn't remember," Wess said.

And is there hope for Stewart's ear? "One ear, no. The other ear is looking better," Klinefelter said.

Igor is being quarantined for another six days to make sure it doesn't have rabies, said Wess, then will be euthanized.

The attack raises questions about why dogs attack and what types of dogs do.

Animal welfare groups have long advocated that dog lovers avoid pet shops and puppy mills and instead adopt a previously owned dog.

That is still good advice, as long as people adopt from the right places, said Laurie Brickley, spokeswoman for the Animal Humane Society, which has facilities in Golden Valley and Woodbury.

She said the society puts dogs through an extensive test to screen them for viciousness.

"They are vetted," said Brickley. "We want to place good citizens in the community."

But no one can assume that animal rescue groups especially smaller ones go through the same rigorous tests.

"Before you get a dog, you have to ask: What evaluations are they doing? Are they doing due diligence?" said Brickley. "I can say at the AHS, we are."

But Mike Fry, director of the Animal Ark No-Kill Shelter in Hastings, said such tests are unreliable.

"It's a very complex topic," Fry said.

He said there is no reason to think that an adopted dog is any more attack-prone than a dog purchased as a puppy, because so many puppies are mistreated in so-called "puppy mills."

"The notion that you can test any dog or even a person and get an accurate picture of them at any moment in time is false," said Fry. "You can't take a prefect snapshot and predict behavior in unpredictable situations."

Usually, he said, the factors in dog attacks include the past treatment of the animal and the behavior of the victim.

He said any dog can attack people. That is true whether a dog is adopted as an adult or purchased as a puppy, or whether a dog is one of the so-called "bully breeds." The American bulldog is not known to be among the bully breeds.

"Dogs are predators, and we have a responsibility about how we interact with them," said Fry. "Too often we take a simplistic view that it is all the dog's fault."

Klinefelter was asked if it were possible that Stewart did something to trigger the attack.

"Absolutely not. He loved that dog," she said.

What's ahead for Stewart? Several weeks in the hospital, then months or years of cosmetic surgeries.

"It will be years of ...," Klinefelter said, her voice trailing off. "Well, we just don't know."

Bob Shaw can be reached at 651-228-5433.

Kathy Chadwell (354)
Friday October 30, 2009, 8:33 pm
Personally I feel that the rescue did everything possible. Something was missed, but it's NOT the fault of the rescuers. This dog probably was abused and had a fear trigger that nobody knew about. (but the abusers)
The American Bulldog is a breed one must know before getting one. Now it looks like this gentleman had one in the past, but it never hurts to do all kinds of research before hand. This is a good site.
American Bulldogs
What's good about 'em
What's bad about 'em

I think the family should go back to the rescue, who should go back to the pound to find the orginal owners who made this poor dog like this and make them pay his hospital bills.

Kathy Chadwell (354)
Friday October 30, 2009, 8:40 pm
I found some sites with pics of American bulldogs for those who don't know what this breed looks like. Hope these help.

Shirley S (187)
Friday October 30, 2009, 10:20 pm
I agree that they should look into the previous owner's background if possible.The young family living over the road from me has the most beautiful & well behaved American Bulldog which is about five year old & my husband & I are always impressed with the dog's calm relaxed manner.I feel very sorry for the victim of the attack it must have been horrific.

Irene M (19)
Saturday October 31, 2009, 7:03 am
The full story of what happened to make the dog attack is only known by th bloke that was attacked. Sadly the dog can not put it's side of the story. If the attack was totally unprovoked the dog may have had some kind of illness come over him. I wonder if an autopsy is ever carried out on on dogs to find out if there was an illness present.

. (0)
Saturday October 31, 2009, 7:09 am
Thank you for this article, Terry. I have heard of something like this happening in a shelter close to my home. This time, the person that got severely bitten was a foster Mother. She was thinking about adopting this dog but, never got to that stage before the dog attempted to take Her face off and of course, was euthanised without any for of rehab!!!! (that made me soooo mad.) Oh and this breed of dog was a bearded collie. She was an absolutely gorgeous creature!! Life can be so sad and unfair!

MmAway M (507)
Saturday October 31, 2009, 7:58 am
Thanks Terry...

And...just in a rush so did read a couple of article comments, but my little rescue is whining for me to get off.

You don't know what you are getting with a rescue, I have gone through a ton of issues from her being abused, beaten, yelled at etc...something may have happened that set this dog off, and it is sad when you get into situations like that. My little rescue even chases my 86 yr old mother down the hall (not so much anymore, but my mom would come to say hello wiggling her fingers, NOT a good thing to do in front of a resting dog).

The fact that my rescue was almost put down from all of her abuse, this person may of just triggered something, I am so careful, but again, what a hard and sad situation.

Thanks Terry, and I know all about photos,ya got the news out there and that is what is important...

Jade H (35)
Saturday October 31, 2009, 7:59 am
I agree with a lot of the comments: number one being the picture used! Come on! And be a caretaker of 3 queenslands and one queensland cross in my own life, I know ANY dog, no matter what size or breed, can be triggered by something - SOMETHING triggered this attack - probably the human - but this is lousy reporting of the story (sensationalism, not all the facts, inciteful) and this site deserves better writers - or at least someone who screens the articles before they are posted. Short of being rabid, SOMETHING happened in that basement that caused this reaction - wonder what it was? And as Irene commented - the dog isn't able to tell his side.

Karen G (3)
Saturday October 31, 2009, 9:16 am
Kudos to everyone who rescues and/ or adopts a homeless pet! Most stories have happy endings but unfortunately not all- as in this tragic story.
I recently fostered a beautiful all black German Shepherd puppy. At approximately 3 months of age she was found wandering the streets of Denver! Probably dumped. I fostered her for 3 months and she has been adopted now. I am hopeful this new home will be her forever home.
She is such a sweet dog and very good tempered. I thought I would adopt her but it turned out to be not a great fit. We loved her and she loved me and my kids but she really needed a lot of work and I felt that I couldn't meet her some of her needs.
I am very familar with the breed (I have owned 4 and fostered 3 other). I know that I gave her a good start onto the rest of her life. I socialized with people and other animals. I took her to obedience classes, work and dog parks. She is really getting along well. I had a lot of guilt when I decided not to keep her. Where would she go, would her home be good enough? It was painful to make this decision. I was fortunate to be able to take her to animal commuincator and this really helped! I found that she had been alone in a dog run for the first 3 months of her life. There were dogs near her but she couldn't play with them. She was so lonely! She didn't even get regular food, just whatever they had. She was completely unfamiliar with dog food. I did get her used to eating a healthy diet and put some weight on her. She really looked good and is very well adjusted. Some of her difficult behavior was due to the fact that she was trying to "relive" her puppyhood. She is very immature and dominant. She also 'said" that she understood that my home wasn't permanet, and she was okay with it.

I guess my point is that sometimes trying a communicator may help uncover what the dog has been through, what she needs and has been through. It may help understanding the needs of the dog and what difficulties she has been through.

Maybe this will help in difficult situations. It was time and money well invested. All the information I got from the comminucator seem to fit what I had seen and felt from this sweet girl. It helped me make the decision to let her be placed and to understand her past. Hope this helps others!

Know that everything done for a homeless animal is time and money well spent. Thanks to everyone!

Past Member (0)
Saturday October 31, 2009, 11:55 am

Past Member (0)
Saturday October 31, 2009, 12:45 pm
You never know when you adopt from a shelter. They don't know, and go on the word of the people who turned the animal in, if it wasn't a stray. Got a peeing cat once, and it was the hardest thing to have to take it back to that place, but, I tried all I could afford to get her to stop. Food put where she did her messing, nothing stopped her. Vet checked and she was ok. So, the shelter is not to blame. Something triggered this attack. I hope the man can pull through.

Past Member (0)
Saturday October 31, 2009, 5:54 pm
Thank you for this story. I hope the man recovers quickly. I agree with Jade and Irene---something triggered what happened, and the dog can't tell us.

Dave O'Connell (2637)
Sunday November 1, 2009, 9:32 am
Shelter and rescue dogs should certainly be evaluated for behavioral issues, such as food and resource guarding, and dog aggression. Many dogs are only appropriate for households with no small children.

The animals can still be placed with those skilled and experienced at guiding challenged dogs.

Many dogs are capable of mowing doing humans, if they decide it is necessary. Their immense powers appealed to the prehistoric peoples who began domesticating and breeding them in the first place. You can ask almost anything of a dog, but you can't ask it to stop being a dog. Any dog, good or bad, is a scrapper.

Eugenie F-s (9)
Sunday November 1, 2009, 1:09 pm
We saved two rescue dogs and loved them to bits. One was good, one had issues and sadly she had to be put down. That nearly killed me, I cried for days and days. I would still take a rescue dog, they are worth it. It is we humans that abuse them and don't take responsibility for doing them harm. I am sorry the dog is going to be put down and I hope the man recovers his good looks, which seem to be important to him! Thanks for sharing this story Terry.
Or, log in with your
Facebook account:
Please add your comment: (plain text only please. Allowable HTML: <a>)

Track Comments: Notify me with a personal message when other people comment on this story

Loading Noted By...Please Wait


butterfly credits on the news network

  • credits for vetting a newly submitted story
  • credits for vetting any other story
  • credits for leaving a comment
learn more

Most Active Today in Animals

Content and comments expressed here are the opinions of Care2 users and not necessarily that of or its affiliates.

New to Care2? Start Here.