OTTAWA — Tyrus, the pitbull that killed a Shih Tzu, is still alive — for now.
"If it was any other dog, he would get three strikes but because he's a pitbull, he's not allowed to have that," said owner Jennifer Mayer, who made her first court appearance Thursday.
Mayer initially decided to put the dog down but is now contesting the city's application to have the dog destroyed.
She's charged with permitting a dog to bite under the animal care and control bylaw, according to city spokesman Barre Campbell. The 10-year-old American red nose pitbull was marked "vicious" by the city's bylaw department and ordered muzzled and leashed at all times after the attack on April 13.
An 11-year-old boy, Jesse Lorange, was walking his Shih Tzu, Bailey, when Tyrus pounced and sunk its teeth into the smaller dog's throat.
Two days later, a Shih Tzu sunk its teeth into a woman's nose while she was working at an east-end Home Depot store.
The dog ripped off a chunk of Anne Riel's nose and she needed seven stitches and surgery.
Odette Fournier, the owner of that dog, is also contesting charges.
Fournier was hit with a $610 fine and ordered to keep her 12-year-old dog, Spot, muzzled at all times in public.
"Little dogs do attack," said Mayer. "I, for one, have been bit plenty."
But the small dog wasn't ordered to be put down.
And that's all the more reason, Mayer said, to let her dog live.
"My dog (attack) was a dog-on-dog, not dog-on-human," said Mayer, who's facing more than $600 in fines.
"That's not fair at all, but that's life, right?"
Mayer's next court date is May 20.