Manitoba woman recovering after five dogs attack and kill her shih tzu

A Manitoba woman is recovering from her injuries after five bullmastiff dogs attacked her and killed her shih tzu on Monday.

One dog euthanized, other four will be relocated, says St. Clements chief administrative officer

Maze was attacked by five bullmastiffs on Monday. (Tanis Cook)

A Manitoba woman is recovering from her injuries after five bullmastiff dogs attacked her and killed her shih tzu on Monday.

Tanis Cook was walking Maze, the family dog she got her daughter as a graduation present, around cottage country in Lakeshore Heights, south of Grand Beach.

"She's very upset but she's an amazing kid. She's more concerned about me. She knows I tried everything to save Maze," Cook said through tears.

She saw two unleashed bullmastiffs on a driveway on a lot without a fence. 

"When I saw them on the driveway, I'm thinking this is going to be bad," she said.

She picked up Maze and tried to hide her. The two dogs bolted for her, she said.

Cook put out her arm to stop the dogs from getting at Maze and one of the bullmastiffs bit her arm, she said. She screamed and the owner came running outside with three other bullmastiffs behind him, she said.

The five dogs surrounded her, jumped on her and knocked her down, she said.

"The strength of that many dogs on a person is just — you think you can kick them. You can't kick them. You can't. When they get you down and they're biting you, you can't do anything," she said.

The bullmastiffs' owner grabbed Maze and told Cook to walk away. His five dogs then knocked him down.

Tanis Cook has bruises all over her body from the five bullmastiffs pouncing on her, she said. (Tanis Cook)
"When I realized they weren't backing off and he was getting attacked, I thought, I'm going to die here because they're attacking him and there's five of them."

Cook went to a neighbour's house, called 911 and waited more than an hour for an ambulance to arrive. She was bit on her forearm and had bruises and scratches on her right arm, shoulder, buttocks and face.

One of five bullmastiffs bit Tanis Cook's arm. (Tanis Cook)
The owner of the bullmastiffs brought Maze to her in a box and said she was dead. Cook said he was apologetic.

DJ Sigmundson, the chief administrative officer for the Rural Municipality of St. Clements, said he heard the owner chose to euthanize the dog who bit Cook and relocate the other four to his farmland outside of the area.

"I can't live with the fact that this could happen again to somebody," said Cook. "Basically it's going to be another community's problem, but they'll… have to wait for a situation to happen in that area," said Cook. "I'm scared for them."

Sigmundson said he's not sure where the four dogs will be relocated to but it's possible the community will know about this situation because some municipalities share animal control information. 

"If it was an urban property I certainly would make every effort to contact the CAO and mention the situation. If it's a rural property five miles from anybody, I wouldn't be as concerned," he said.

Sigmundson said the bylaw states that dogs need to be in the owner's control. If the animals are deemed dangerous by the St. Clements council and remain in the community, they will need to be secured in the owner's property and the owner must have liability insurance. 

Sigmundson said the four dogs need to leave the area because of this situation and because the bylaw states residents of St. Clements can only own two dogs.

"Even if they name them dangerous dogs, he still gets to keep them," she said.

Sigmundson said he has no record of these dogs being an issue in the past.