Christine Hyatt might want to blame Helen Keller for the near fatal dog bite inflicted on Maddy (short for Madeline), her family’s miniature dachshund, because Helen Keller is credited with bringing the first Akita into the United States in 1937. And, it was indeed an Akita that not only brutally attacked Maddy, the valued family pet, but who also left Christine Hyatt with her arm in a sling and her finger heavily bandaged after it was necessary for her to seek a plastic surgeon for her injuries .
According to a popular internet Dog Owner’s Guide a…..properly trained Akita will learn to tolerate other animals and not go looking for trouble, but the owner must never forget the dog’s inherent drive to be the top dog at almost any cost.
However, Christine Hyatt also might want to blame the Newport News and their first dog park “Fido Field” for her and Maddy’s injuries. According the the Newport News Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism the dog park, which has only been open for a year, Fido Field is a 1.5 acre facility that is surrounded by a 5-foot fence with a double gate entry, and there is 1/8 of an acre fenced within the park that is reserved for small dogs (20 pounds or less) . These facts are especially important when you realize how and where Christine and Maddy’s injuries occurred.
Christine and her family visited Fido Field for a family day and to exercise Maddy when from out of nowhere an Akita attacked Maddy, grabbing Maddy by the neck. According to Christine, “By the time we turned around, the dog already had my dog, the neck in his mouth.”
Maddy lost a lot of blood and is sporting a tube in her neck and bright orange bandages wrapped around most of her ‘minature’ body after her encounter with the Akita.
According to the article, owners with problem dogs are responsible and liable for their dog’s behavior, but that will hardly help Christine because the Akita’s owner and the dog disappeared immediately after the attack. Maybe the better question is why did the park let an Akita, who weighs between 80-100 pounds, depending on gender in the specifically designated park area for small dogs less than 20 pounds? Miniature Dachshunds weigh around 20 pounds, and she didn’t stand a chance against the Akita.
But, that isn’t even the end of the story!! Even though the park rules indicate that owners must purchase an annual pass and owners must also ‘show proof that their dogs are licensed and up-to-date on their immunization record’, if the Akita and her owners cannot be found Christine will have to undergo the long, painful process of treatment for Rabies. That consists of six shots over a 28-day period.