Wednesday, June 29, 2011

After vicious pit bull attack, community rallies for Izze

By Shawn Smith, Shore News Today

The generosity and outpouring of support from the community has Lauree Fogelman feeling better these days.
She and her dog, Izze, are still recovering from a pit bull attack June 2 that left her with a fractured hand, tendon damage and puncture wounds.  Izzie is still being treated for an open wound to the chest left by the pit bull’s relentless attack.
Fogelman was walking Izze in her North Newark Avenue neighborhood the afternoon of Thursday, June 2 when a pit bull came barreling down the sidewalk at them. When she picked up Izze to protect him, the pit bull jumped and pulled her dog out of her hands, Fogelman said Monday, June 27.
Fogelman grabbed the pit bull by the head and tried to pull its jaws open while a neighbor came to the rescue before police arrived on the scene.
“I knew if I took my hands out of that dog’s mouth my dog would die and I wasn’t going to let my dog die that day,” Fogelman said. “This dog is like my baby.”
According to a police report, it took six police officers striking the dog numerous times with their batons before it released its grip and ran home to its owner, Omar Paz Juraez of North Newark Avenue.
“The Ventnor police were amazing,” Fogelman said. “They were relentless with trying to get dog off of us. They called Dr. (Jessica) Grant ahead of time and told her they would be bringing dog in that had been attacked. They had surgical team waiting for him and the surgery saved his life.”
She said five minutes yelling for help felt like five hours as she tried to wrestle the pit bull away from Izze, a cockapoo, which is cross between a cocker spaniel and poodle.
“They called me afterwards to see if I was OK and they called Dr. Grant to check on Izze. They were very, very compassionate and very kind,” Fogelman said.
And that was just the beginning of the support she has gotten from the community.
On Sunday, Aug. 14, from 4 to 7 p.m. there will be a fundraiser at the Log Cabin in Margate to help pay for Izze’s veterinary bills with hopes to continue a fund to help rescue dogs and other victims of dog attacks. Tickets for the event are $20 and can be bought by calling (609) 442-0072.
“Something good is going to come out of it for people who go through this and don’t have an amazing community of support network like I do, I’m fortunate,” said Fogelman.  “It’s been an amazing, eye-opening experience on so many levels.”
A social worker who works with hospice care, Fogelman said the attack has left her out of work through July due to hand surgery that was done June 7. She hopes to receive an update on her progress on Thursday.
“I understand needing help and the difficulties in asking for it,” she said.
She said she also knows that people can endure with the strength of themselves, their faith, the community, friends, and her case, a fiancée who is extremely loving and supportive.
“It makes you look to those things to see how lucky you are and fortunate you are,” Fogelman said.

“It’s really just wonderful for the local neighborhood community to help and giving money for a good cause, as far as helping rescue dogs.”
She said donations have already started coming in for the Aug. 14 event in the way of donated gift baskets, gift certificates and other items that will be raffled off.
She also said she hopes to find to way to prevent dog attacks from happening in the future.
“Have awareness to be careful when walking dogs because you never know,” she said. “Your life could change in a matter of 10 minutes. Knowing things like this can happen, something could be done and put in place to at least make owners more liable and responsible to protect people. I would never want this to happen to anyone again,” said Fogelman.
The fine that could be imposed on Paz, the dog owner, is capped at $1,000 according to police. Fogelman said she is awaiting a summons to appear in court.

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