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Animal lover takes dog attack in stride



Published: Sat, August 24, 2002 @ 12:00 a.m.



The attack left her with scratches and bruises.

By JOHN W. GOODWIN JR.

VINDICATOR STAFF WRITER

BOARDMAN -- Township resident Cindy J. Larson has been loving and caring for animals most of her life, and a recent run-in with a Great Dane in her neighborhood isn't going to take a bite out of her animal-loving spirit.

The 31-year-old Erskine Avenue woman has been a veterinarian technician for seven years, currently working for Animal Charity in Youngstown.

After the work day is over, her animal-caring ways spill over into her home with an unofficial adoption service for otherwise unwanted cats and kittens.

Got a call

Larson recently received a call from a Canfield resident who found a litter of three mixed-breed dogs in a bag that someone left sitting in a driveway next to a bag of dog food. Larson took in the abandoned pups and immediately went to work addressing their health issues.

It was one of those puppies, now with a leg cast, that Larson was holding and showing to a neighbor Wednesday when the neighbor's Great Dane made its way over a picket fence in an effort to attack the puppy in Larson's arms.

Larson, knowing better than to run, turned to walk away with the puppy cupped under her arm, but the Great Dane came from behind, getting a hold of her hair and taking her to the ground.

Owner pulled it away

By the time the Great Dane's owner pulled it away, Larson was in the fetal position with a yelping puppy wedged between her body and the ground. A three-inch scratch on her calf, abrasions on her right hip and both elbows, and claw marks on her chin and neck were left as reminders of the attack.

"I'm not mad about what happened. Dogs are only what they are taught to be," she said. "I guess I just have too big of a heart to be upset about it."

Larson, however, did notify police so the episode would be on file and also called the landlord of the dog's owner. The landlord agreed to put up a 6-foot stockade fence.

"I am not just worried about me. We have a lot of little kids in this neighborhood and if [the Great Dane] went after a puppy in my arms or me, what's to stop her from going after a little kid?" she said.

Larson said the dog will not be staying at the house until the new fence is installed.

jgoodwin@vindy.com




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