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Terrebonne dog, attacked by pit bull, recovering back home after surgery

(Update: Adding update of dog's return home)

TERREBONNE, Ore. (KTVZ) -- After spending a night at a veterinary clinic, Michael McConnell is hoping one of his best friends will be okay.

"If all goes well, I may be able to bring him home this afternoon, but they still have to wait and make sure,” McConnell said Thursday. 

And indeed, a family member says McConnell was able to bring his dog home later Thursday

McConnell said he was walking his three dogs, Nica, Ozzy and Kekoa, on Wednesday along the canal between Smith Rock Way and 11th Street in Terrebonne, a spot he's gone nearly every warm day for three years. 

That's when he said an unleashed and/or stray dog approached his dogs, clearly with bad intentions.

"Oh, that it was going to kill him,” McConnell said. “It was just mad, mad, mad. I know that my dogs look like rabbits, but they're not."

McConnell said there was no provocation from any of his dogs, and barely enough time to react. 

"And all of a sudden the pit bull just -- shoot, he was 10 feet away from the time I first saw him -- and then he was on top of Ozzy,” McConnell said.

He said after he got the dog off of Ozzy, it then attacked Kekoa, leaving him torn up with serious injuries, including his spleen hanging out of his side. A strong kick finally got the other dog to relent and run off.

"It's a shame that now you can't even take your dog for a walk,” McConnell said. 

McConnell said he reported the incident to the Deschutes County Sheriff's Office and posted a description of the attacking dog on Facebook, in an attempt to identify the dog.

Jessica Puccetti, a veterinarian at Cinder Rock Veterinary Clinic in Redmond who helped operate on Kekoa, said she's noticed an increase in dog attack-related injuries, possibly by 25 percent since the pandemic hit a year ago.

"I think everyone is getting dogs, which is great with the COVID pandemic and everyone being at home. But I also think that's led to seeing a few more dog attacks," Puccetti said.

While it's unclear if the attacking dog was a stray or owned and off-leash, Puccetti emphasized that training and leashes can help prevent incidents like this. 

“You never know -- and you don’t know what the other dog is going to do, either,” Puccetti said. “So I think keeping them on leash and having them trained is huge.” 

McConnell said he’s also noticed the increase in dog attacks, and this one was too close to home.

"Oh yeah. I think we're done taking walks,” McConnell said. "I got one dog that's on the brink of death.”

Kekoa had a successful surgery and got to go home with McConnell. 

“They say it's going to be months of rehab, if he lives but he's my best friend, so I've got to do it,” McConnell said, with a smile on his face. 

A GoFundMe page, independently created by a Cinder Rock veterinary assistant, can be found here.

Central Oregon / Crime And Courts / News / Redmond / Top Stories
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Noah Chast

Noah Chast is a multimedia journalist for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Noah here.



    1. I completely agree. I’m so tired of hearing that it’s the owners. Why would anyone want a dog that has this sort of behavior in them, at all, ever. They are not great dogs. They snap and I sure wouldn’t want one around my dog or child. I’m so sorry for what happened to this dogs. Makes me sick

  1. Is anyone else left wondering how did he get it to let up? And to leave? Did it just suddenly quit and turn tail and run off? Just curious….

    1. Very good question! My guess would be by kicking the dog viciously and repeatedly until it was distracted enough for the other beast to be freed from its crushing, ripping bloody jaws!

    1. When walking along irrigation canals in rural Oregon! Absolutely! In fact, not doing so is irresponsible, regardless if you are walking with or without a canine.

  2. Mr. McConnell,

    I truly feel your pain as I lost my beautiful, old yellow lab to a jerk who let his dogs run amock in 2017. I had to take legal action toward the coward just for him to pay the vet bill! That’s the only consequence he had, if you even want to call it that. I will never, ever take my dogs anywhere now without carrying pepper spray. I still miss her terribly.

    Have you cruised around that area looking for the bad dog? I hope your babies make full recoveries and that you can find that dog and hopefully its owner.

    Best of luck! 🙂

  3. Pit Bulls were bred to fight and kill in dog pits…thus, the name. Thankfully, the “sport” is no longer legal, but it doesn’t mean the “killer instinct” is no longer evident either. Their muscular bodies and powerful jaws suggest the instinct remains as well.
    If you need canine protection, best buy liability insurance too…

  4. Pitbulls are an aggressive breed. Sure part of it is their obedience training/Owners, but thats just part of it. Nobody can deny that you are more likely to get attacked, or one of your animals, by a pitbull, rather then say a lab, or other breed. My buddy has 2 pits, and one of them who went to an expensive trainer in Eugene, snatched my son by the shoulder when he was around 7-8. he had fatty and meat tissue hanging out of his shoulder. Once again, well trained dog. I didn’t ask for the dog to be put down, because it was a friends dog, but it just goes to show there will always be that chance.

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