UPDATE 11/21/08: Conflicting reports are unfolding about the dog. It appears that Alan Clinansmith was acting as a foster home for the dog. The dog had been with Clinansmith for about a week as he searched for a new home for the dog. A separate article says that 37-year-old Rick Harrison was the owner -- or rather former owner -- of the dog. This attack may be the result of "pit bull shuffling." This occurs when animal agencies, blinded by their passion, refuse to euthanize dangerous pit bulls and instead adopt them out.
11/20/08: Men Try to Kill Pit Bull with Baseball Bat
Happy Valley, OR -- In a horrific attack that involved 5 separate response teams, a 7-year old girl was severely attacked while playing on a tire swing. Details of the attack are still forthcoming. What we know so far is that 4 grown men attempted to stop the attacking pit bull, two of which tried to beat the dog to death with a baseball bat. The girl's father, Steven Hehr, managed to pry the dog off his daughter. Firepower from a police officer finally killed the dog.
It is the tenacity of a pit bull attack that is so deadly, just as this example shows.
Read full news release from the Clackamas County Sheriff's Office.
The Clackamas County Sheriff's Office, Happy Valley Police, Boring Fire, American Medical Response and Happy Valley Dog Control responded to a report of a vicious dog attack yesterday. The pit bull attacked 7-year-old Jayda Kempas, who was playing on a tire swing. Had immediate intervention by her father, two neighbors swinging a baseball bat and gunfire from Deputy Greg Martin not taken place, authorities believe Jayda would have been killed.
"Out of desperation, Steven Hehr yelled for someone to kill the dog and Bahler grabbed an aluminum baseball bat as a weapon. Bahler began beating the dog with all of his might about the legs and back of this animal to no avail. The dog was still continuing with the attack as Bahler became exhausted. It was then necessary for Clinansmith to arm himself with the bat and continued striking the dog as Clackamas County Sheriff's Deputy, Greg Martin, arrived on the scene. The dog continued to resist and attack; which forced Deputy Martin to shoot the animal eliminating the ongoing vicious attacks and ominous threat."
Jayda suffered severe lacerations to her lower right calf and puncture wounds on her upper left thigh area. American Medical Response provided medical attention to the victims and both were transported to Kaiser Sunnyside Hospital. Jayda was later transferred to Doernbecher Children's Hospital, in Portland. She is expected to have surgery today to mend damage to her right leg. According to her father, "Jayda is a real trooper, is expected to recover and is presently in good spirits."
Steven Hehr has been treated for his injuries and presently has one arm in a sling. He considers himself and his daughter fortunate for surviving the attack. Steven Hehr dislocated his shoulder during his struggle with the dog and received multiple bites to his hands, chest, legs and arms. After assessing the event, Deputy Martin said, "had it not been for the father being present and pulling the dog from the child, that girl most probably would not have survived the attack."
Steven Hehr is a Staff Sergeant with the Oregon National Guard, and has served his country with one tour of duty in Iraq, and an additional tour in Afghanistan. The three men that helped Hehr with the rescue effort are: Ian Tovar, 27, William Bahler, 47 and Alan Clinansmith, 44.
Listen to the 911 Call
Our transcription does not include each word, just the essential pieces.
[caller] We need an ambulance.
[operator] What is the address?
[caller] This is a dog attack
[operator] Okay, where is the dog now?
[caller] GET HIM! KILL THAT DOG! KILL HIM!
[operator] Who is it attacking?
[caller] KILL THAT DOG!
[operator] How many people are injured?
[caller] KILL HIM! (pause)
[caller] BEAT THAT DOG TO DEATH!
[caller] Here -- ambulance! We need an ambulance!
[operator] We need to know what's going on? Where's the dog?
[caller] WE'RE TRYING TO KILL IT.
[operator] Is it still currently attacking someone?
[caller] We need an ambulance.
[operator] We've dispatched an ambulance. Where on the property are you?
[caller] In the backyard.
[operator] Do you know who's dog this is?
[caller] Dog's ours. I think we killed the dog. I NEED THAT AMBULANCE NOW!
[operator] Is someone bleeding? Can you control the bleeding?
[caller] We're doing that!
[operator] Is the dog dead?
[caller] Someone needs to put this DOG OUT OF ITS --
[operator] How many people have actually been injured?
[operator] Do they both need ambulances? Or just one?
[caller] The little girl and then the guy's fingers...there's blood everywhere man.
[operator] How old is the child that was injured?
[caller] 7-years old
[operator] An adult was also bitten?
[caller] Yes, the father.
[operator] Where on the child's body is she injured?
[caller] The leg. The adult on the hands, both hands. You people gotta hurry.
[operator] They are coming. They're moving as fast as they can.
[caller] I GOTTA CALL THIS GUY'S WIFE. I can hear the ambulances...
It is believed that the "foster" owner of the dog, Alan Clinansmith, made the 911 call.
11/22/11: Hero Stories: Honoring Those Who Risked Their Lives to Stop a Pit Bull Mauling