Dover, Kentucky

From the Maysville Ledger Independent of May 31, 2007

Woman, grandchildren safe after attack by family pet

Often described as man’s best friend, when a family’s pet German shepherd suddenly and viciously turned on a woman and her two grandchildren last week, they found that man’s best friend can sometimes also be his worst enemy.

“I’m just thankful we’re all living,” said Sylvia Kabler, the grandmother who has been credited with saving her two grandchildren’s lives by her quick action when the dog, named King, attacked them. “I just thank God we’re OK.”

Describing the events of May 24, when the attack occurred, Kabler said she had just arrived home with her two grandchildren, a boy and a girl, both 4 years old, when she noticed King had broken his collar and was roaming about the backyard.

Though the children wanted to go outside to play, Kabler said she encouraged them to stay inside while King roamed about. When it appeared the dog, who had played with the children on previous occasions, had settled down a bit, Kabler and the children stepped out onto the deck of the house.

Kabler ultimately let the children go into the yard to play, and eventually they drifted around to the side of the house, out of her view.

“They played about an hour or so,” she said.

Kabler, who remained on the deck, called her sister as the kids played. Then, suddenly, the young boy reappeared, and informed his grandmother the dog was “bothering” the girl.

Kabler peered around the side of the house and saw her granddaughter on the ground, the dog on top of her. What ensued next was a vicious game of tug of war over the girl.

“I just dragged her over to the side of the car,” Kabler said, while the dog continued to bite at the girl’s legs, pulling on the child. Kabler said she yelled for her grandson to go in the house and close the door.

Kabler managed to get her granddaughter in the car, but could not close the door as the dog was pushing his way in through the opening. Her grandson came back out of the house armed with a fishing pole, with which he attempted to hit the animal.

“He yelled, ‘grandma, get in,'” Kabler recalled.

King turned on the boy, clawing his back and biting his leg, but Kabler managed to get her grandson into the car along with the girl, blocking the dog’s access to the children with her own body.

Kabler still could not get the car door closed, and King continued his attack on Kabler, biting her a number of times. At one point, Kabler said she thought she was going to pass out.

Kabler pried the dog’s teeth open to gain a moment’s relief from the bites on her leg, and noticed another pet dog, named Rocky, nearby. Kabler said she yelled for Rocky to help her.

While she is not sure what Rocky did, King did suddenly turn and begin to pursue that dog. Kabler slammed the car door shut, safe inside.

When the door slammed, King’s attention was once again redirected at the car. Kabler said the dog climbed on the door and the windows, attempting to get inside.

At one point, the dog wandered away to get a drink of water, and Kabler said she attempted to retrieve the cell phone she had dropped when the attack occurred, but the movement of the door opening attracted the dog’s attention.

Fortunately, the sister Kabler had been on the phone with when the attack occurred heard what was happening and drove to Kabler’s home. When she arrived, Kabler shouted directions at her.

“I told her not to get out of the car,” Kabler said. “And get someone.”

The sister left the three still inside the car to find someone who could shoot the dog. Two men at Ranger Steel, identified by police as Josh Vice of Maysville and Jason Smoot of Flemingsburg, followed the woman back to the home with a handgun.

The first shot was fired through the open window of the truck the men were in. The second shot killed the dog.



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