Canadian twins who were attacked by one sister’s pet dog have rushed to defend the Rottweiler-Husky mix that put them in the hospital and nearly mauled the other twin’s young son.
Kati and Jessi Mather, 21, were at a park in Richmond, British Columbia on Wednesday, December 30, when Kati's dog attacked them, officials said.
The animal had reportedly been tied to a tree and went on the attack once he was untied, CBC reported.
The pair threw themselves in front of the large dog, named Yogi, after he went for Jessi’s three-year-old son, Jayden, officials and relatives of the sisters said.
Police found Kati on the ground, covered in blood, trying to fend off the 80-pound dog, which left more than 100 bites across her body, fractured her arm and detached her bicep.
“Her twin sister also sustained serious injuries, namely, multiple lacerations to her body while defending her son from the dog,” Richmond RCMP said in a news release. “The boy was luckily unharmed. Their drive to protect the boy was incredibly heroic.”
Both women were taken to a local hospital where they were treated and eventually released to recover at home.
“They are alive and (t)hey saved Jayden from getting even one bite. Scars are just roadmaps to lifes(sic) adventures, and in this adventure they are heroes!” their father, Steve Mather, wrote on Facebook.
Before police arrived at the bloody scene, a man who attempted to intervene was also attacked by the dog, police said. He was treated at a local hospital for cuts to his hand.
The dog initially ran away, but was eventually captured and brought to the Richmond Animal Protection Society.
According to Richmond legislation, any dog that has injured a person is classified as a dangerous dog, and the Richmond SPCA notes it only euthanizes a pet if it “is so behaviorally aggressive as to present a material danger to human safety.”
Yogi’s owner - Kati's boyfriend - and the women he attacked oppose putting the dog down.
“Neither them or me want yogi put down,” Lucas MacNeil wrote on Facebook.
Both women commented on MacNeil’s post, expressing their support for what he wrote.
Others have come to the defense of Yogi, creating social media pages in support of the dog and petitions to call on officials to spare the animal.
“Yogi is loved by everyone and is spoiled by Luke and his close friends. There is no abuse towards the dog coming from Lucas MacNeil and until that day there were no safety concerns regarding the dog,” read a Change.org petition that by Thursday had more than 1,160 signatures.
While many rushed to defend the dog involved in the incident, others have come down against the women who were attacked.
A GoFundMe page created for the sisters was taken down after allegations were made about their lifestyle, as it was revealed that the pair ran social media accounts called “Twins That Toke,” which appeared to show them smoking.
Some believed the girls’ alleged drug use could have provoked the attack.
Kati posted a picture of her and Jessi on Facebook Tuesday, writing; 'No matter what, we wont ever give a f***.'
“People are going to judge how yogi was taken care of and the other issues that are circulating through the media. At the end of the day we all deserve a second chance to rehabilitate. Kati Jessi and yogi,” MacNeil wrote on Facebook.