Pet pit bull attacks owners
Scott Dudkewic plays with his pit bull Duncan. COURTESY OF SCOTT DUDKEWIK
Scott Dudkewic is out hiking with his youngest daughter Nicolle and two of their dogs. Duncan is the dog to the left who suddenly attacked his owners just over two weeks ago. COURTESY OF SCOTT DUDKEWIC
Duncan plays in the water retrieving a stick before his recent attack on his owners. COURTESY OF SCOTT DUDKEWIC
An Effort man is in the trauma ward at Cedar Crest Lehigh Valley Hospital after a beloved family pit bull attacked him and his wife at their home a little over two weeks ago.
Scott and Linda Dudkewic adopted Duncan from an animal shelter over six years ago. From his hospital bed, Scott remembered the dog he used to know.
“Duncan was my boy that sat at my side the whole time, all the time. And he was one of my best buds. He lay with me every night. I petted him. By my side — he was there all the time.”
Duncan had been guilty of nipping in moments of excitement but had never seriously bitten anyone.
The couple also owns two other dogs. One, named Lucky, they took in four months ago after they found him wounded by the side of the road. They wonder if the attack was triggered by jealousy of Lucky or by some undiagnosed medical condition. Duncan had recently stopped eating out of his bowl and had to be spoon-fed.
On Aug. 28, as Linda was letting the dogs out of the garage for a walk, Duncan bit her on the back of the thigh. After bandaging her wound, the couple came outside to put Duncan in his cage.
“When I called him, he came running around the corner,” Linda reminded Scott as they told the story together. “You didn’t know what was going to happen, so you stepped forward in front of me and then tried to get him to sit down and take him to put him into the cage.”
That’s when the dog snapped.
“Then he got my one (right) arm. I tried to wrestle him,” Scott said. “He broke free. My wife came out to knock him off with one of my river paddles and she handed it to me. I tried to get it into his mouth, and then he grabbed my left arm and he just locked onto it. So instead of me pulling away from it, I just started stuffing my arm into his mouth to try to stop the tearing, because he was trying to get after my neck.”
Scott could hear the dog’s jaws crushing his bones.
The couple screamed at Duncan to let go.
Scott jammed his fingers into the dog’s eyes and tried to pull his mouth apart.
Hearing the screaming, their next-door neighbor came running but didn’t want to shoot the family pet.
“He’s not my dog,” the neighbor said.
“He’s not my dog now either, you have to shoot him!” Scott said.
The neighbor shot the dog twice in the back legs so as not to hit Scott. Finally the dog released his hold on Scott’s arm.
“Thank God for my neighbor that came over and shot him. Otherwise I would be dead right now,” Scott said afterward.
They dragged Scott into the garage, and Linda slammed the door on Duncan’s head, shutting him outside. They tried to stop the bleeding.
Scott had lost tissue and muscle from his mangled left arm. His right arm also had deep bite wounds. He will permanently lose the tip of his right ring finger, which is so black it looks like a piece of charcoal, he said. Fortunately, none of his bones were broken.
Help arrived in minutes.
‘Let’s Support Scotty!’
Scott has already had five surgeries. He hopes to be discharged from the hospital this week, but recovery is expected to take six months to a year.
His insurance doesn’t cover any home care in his area so Linda will do a lot of the care, Scott said.
Despite everything that has happened, Scott counts himself “one of the lucky ones” because of the overwhelming support they have received from the community.
Scott works at the Sewanhaka School District in Long Island and takes seasonal jobs with Pocono Whitewater Rafting, Skirmish USA, and Jack Frost Big Boulder. He describes his co-workers as “family.”
Co-workers have organized fundraisers for Scott and offered to mow his lawn. Friends have stayed with him overnight at the hospital.
Scott’s childhood friend Ron Locks worked with his co-worker Talon Fogal to start a GoFundMe called “Let’s Support Scotty!” that has raised $23,580 of its $20,000 goal with donations from 282 people as of Friday morning.
Fogal said he spoke with one woman who donated without even knowing the couple.
Locks said the GoFundMe aimed to tell the couple’s story once so that they wouldn’t have to retell it themselves over and over.
“They are asking to please not call or text while they are in the hospital dealing with this horrible situation,” the GoFundMe reads.
The Dudkewics have waived their rights to Duncan and believe that he has been euthanized by a shelter in Long Island.
“I didn’t only lose parts of my body, I lost a really good friend of mine. So I just wanna make people aware that things happen,” Scott said tearfully.
The couple warned pet owners to look for suspicious signs.
“If there’s an undiagnosed medical condition and they’re in pain, at any given moment they can turn on you in a heartbeat,” Linda said.