Have you ever been attacked by a dog, much less a pack of dogs? The mere threat of being bitten by a dog is terrifying. However, the real kicker is that the breed of the dog has little to no bearing on whether it will attack. Instead, ample research points to the owner as the culprit of a badly-behaved canine. Unfortunately for 52-year-old Tracy Garcia of Oklahoma, a run-in with a pack of Dachshunds turned fatal. Follow along to learn the true story of how Garcia was mauled to death by a pack of Dachshunds.
1. The dogs were owned by her next door neighbor
Tracy Garcia | Family of Tracy Garcia
At a certain point, everyone becomes accustomed to the mannerisms of the neighborhood dogs. You know — this one always chases the cats, that one will bark anytime a person passes the fence. But for Garcia, her experience was different. Facing a pack of aggressive dogs is wildly different than that of a single aggressive dog. The pack drive mentality becomes deeply rooted within the element of confidence with numbers. Once a pack attacks, it is unlikely they will stop without an owner’s intervention.
Next: Fueling the flames of the pack mentality.
2. The pack of dogs was allowed to freely roam
The dogs were infested with fleas and ticks. | santol/iStock/Getty Images
A surefire way to fuel the flame of the pack mentality is to let the dogs freely roam, and that is exactly the case for the pack that attacked Garcia. Instead of keeping the dogs in a safe, fenced in yard, the owner allowed the dogs to have free reign of the neighborhood. Ledy VanKavage, attorney for Best Friends Animal Society, reported that the dogs were covered in fleas and ticks, which are clear signs of a neglectful owner.
Next: Find out the real breeds that killed Garcia.
3. There were six Dachshund-mixes and one Border Collie
A Dachshund in a field of grass. | Iurii/iStock/Getty Images
Of the seven dogs that attacked Garcia, six were Dachshund-mixes weighing in around 40 pounds. The other was a Border Collie. Although Border Collie’s have a tendency to want to herd and nip, Dachshunds are not typically perceived as being attack dogs. VanKavage, however, warns against the assumption that small dogs don’t attack. She clarified when she said, “That saying don’t judge a book by its cover applies to both dogs and people.” It’s more about behavior and less about the breed.
Next: Find out where Garcia was attacked.
4. Garcia was attacked near her property
Banyon Rd. | Google Maps
Garcia was attacked near her property in Ardmore, Oklahoma. The obvious common denominator is that this tragedy would have never happened had the neglectful owner kept tabs on the animals. Sadly, that was not the case.
A recent study by Gary J. Patronek analyzed 256 fatal dog attacks, which resulted in some eye-opening statistics. 87 percent of the fatal attacks occurred when the dog owner was not present. 84 percent of the attacks involved a dog that was not neutered. Lastly, 76 percent of the fatal attacks involved a dog that was not properly socialized and was secluded from normal human interaction.
Next: Authorities took matters into their own hands.
5. One dog was shot, the others were euthanized
All of the dogs were put down. | John Moore/Getty Images
Every single dog involved in Garcia’s fatal attack was laid to rest. One was shot, while six others were euthanized. While many animal lovers grapple with the idea of euthanizing dogs, there is no other option when a human life is involved. Authorities were required to take matters into their own hands to ensure these dogs would never attack again.
Next: What happens to the dog owner?
6. Criminal charges may be filed
Handcuffs and gavel on wooden table. | iStock/Getty Images
Although an investigation is still underway, it is likely that criminal charges will be filed against the owner of the dogs. If criminal charges are pressed against the owner, stiff fines or jail time could be faced. The majority of U.S. states, including Oklahoma, have dangerous-dog laws that work to protect the public from aggressive canines. It is simply a matter of time before a ruling is determined.
Next: What to do in the event of a dog attack
7. What to do in the event of an attack
Aggressive dog is barking | Chalabala/iStock/Getty Images
If a dog is coming towards you in an aggressive manner, your first line of defense is a strong voice. But if a firm voice does not steer the dog away, fighting back will be the next course of action. Striking the dog in the nose, throat, and back of the head will sometimes deter a more vicious attack. If that still doesn’t do the trick, make sure you yell for help and protect your neck and face. The key to avoiding a fatal dog attack is to keep the animal’s teeth away from you, as that is a dog’s only weapon. Pinning the dog to the ground or placing something between you and the dog could be what saves your life.
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