South Sound News

Four pit bulls that mauled UPS driver to be euthanized

PIERCE COUNTY, Wash. — The four pit bulls that attacked and mauled a 52-year-old UPS driver near Orting will be euthanized Wednesday, said the law group representing the man.

The Pierce County Humane Society is expected to put down the dogs.

The victim, Kevin Backlund, shared a statement on the dogs being euthanized.

"I am a dog guy.  I love dogs.  It is sad when any dog has to be put down. I believe that no breed of dog is 'born bad'.  People turn dogs into killers.  The dogs that attacked me did what they were raised to do, what they were trained to do.  Although I am saddened when any dog is euthanized, I am very happy that the dogs that attacked me will never have the opportunity to attack anyone else.  The public is now safe from these dogs."

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A lawsuit was filed in Pierce County Superior Court in early January on behalf of Backlund.

In mid-September of last year, Backlund was attacked while making a delivery in the McMillan when he walked into a gated yard, thinking it was safe. Suddenly, he found himself surrounded.

“(I) observed a pack of pit bulls that had taken positions around me, that approached me, obviously, in silence, and the fight was on,” Backlund said.

The dogs lunged at him, biting and ripping away skin and muscle from his legs as he crawled to get away onto a flatbed trailer while fighting back.

Backlund described “an impending feeling of doom” coming over him at that time.  “And I was accepting that I was losing the fight.”

Help came from Lt. Steve Goodwin of Orting Valley Fire and Rescue, after Backlund’s 911 call that he had been attacked and trapped by the pit bulls.

At a hearing, Goodwin described how he had to ram a locked gate to get to Backlund after a woman, claiming to be a relative of the dog's owner, refused to stop the dogs or let a rescue team onto the property.

“She told me that he kicked one of her dogs and they were going to, pardon my language, f***ing kill him,” Goodwin said.

Goodwin pulled Backlund into his truck through a passenger window and drove him to safety.

Pierce County Animal Control officers seized the dogs after the attack and declared them dangerous.

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