I am not a “do it yourself” person. But, by a twist of faith, I ended up at Home Depot this past weekend. Once I made it to the register to pay, I noticed the huge poster explaining that dogs will no longer be allowed in the store. My mind had a flashback to the case of the Ontario woman that got her nose bitten by a Shih Tzu dog early 2011.
Anne Riel works at the Home Depot. One day as she was a greeting customer at the entrance, she reached out to pet a customer’s dog. According to the Ottawa Sun, as Riel petted the dog, she said she slightly bent her head towards the dog and the Shih Tzu leaped out and bit her in the face. “He literally jumped up and bit my nose off. It was bleeding everywhere,” said Riel, 39. She received seven stitches after the dog bite penetrated her left nostril. The police questioned the owner of the dog and she did get a fine. Riel was infuriated and at first wanted the dog to be put down. After that incident, Home Depot decided to prohibit dogs from entering the store. The new policy would take place at the start of 2012 and that is why this huge poster was now at the Home Depot.
I was extremely curious to find out what had happened to the dog and in court. I started googling and found an article from the month of January of this year. Apparently Ms. Riel got the better deal of the situation and the dog ended up with another kind of punishment instead of death. Ms. Riel from the start was calling the Shih Tzu a vicious dog and claimed that it was a danger towards kids and others. The owner of the Shih Tzu did not want her dog to be put down and her insurance company worked out a sweet deal for Ms. Riel. She was happy to accept and even flaunt what the dog bite got her. The dog owner received a fine of $610 and the dog was ordered to wear a muzzle when out in public. CBC News Ottawa interviewed Ms. Riel and although she did not say how much money was given to her due to the out-of-court settlement, she said she got enough money to pay bills, take her daughter to Disney World and even trade her car for a new one.
In my opinion Ms. Riel worked all the possible ways to extort the owner of the dog. It is not that I am agreeing that the owner of the dog has no fault in this case. If she knew that her dog does not like being petted by strange people she should not have brought him to the store. In this case she did, and should have given a warning to Ms. Riel before allowing her to approach the pup. Due to the lack of common sense by both parties, there is an unhappy pup wearing a muzzle. Ms. Riel got a vacation, new car, debts paid and a nose job. If we see the before and after pictures, the nose she has now looks better than her old one.
The owner of the dog was lucky to pay her off. Normally not all dogs are that lucky. They usually end up in quarantine after a bite and held as evidence until the court decides the fate of the dog. How sad is that? Just having common sense could have prevented it all. Home Depot should have had training for employees on how to approach dogs if they accepted dogs in their stores. The owner of the dog should have spoken for her dog before the other woman approached the pup. Like a friend on Facebook told me this week…it is because of stupid humans that the animals have to pay the price of our stupidity.