Jessica Cejnar Andrews / Today @ 4:47 pm / Animals
Del Norte, Humboldt Animal Control Officers Investigate Alleged Poodle Pack Attack on Corgi at Trinidad State Beach
Humboldt and Del Norte County animal control officials are investigating a Klamath man and the poodles he trains to be service dogs after an Oct. 29 attack on a beloved corgi and its owner at Trinidad State Beach.
Kathryn Burleson said she and her 13-year-old corgi Emma and her friend were walking back from a bench above the beach when they were set upon by 10 standard poodles owned by Frank Mallatt.
Burleson said he saw Mallatt’s van with eight to 10 dogs in it before the alleged attack, decided to cross the street and was at least 50 feet away when the poodles converged on Emma and him.
“I said, ‘Get your dogs,’ and I turned around to get Emma,” Burleson said. Wild Rivers Outpost. “He was horrified. He started to pull back and pulled her out of her collar. I was reaching down to get it and they jumped us. There were 10 dogs and they were attacking. It was absolute chaos.”
Bent over Emma, who was trying to protect him, Burleson fell to the ground, his friend screaming and hitting the poodles with his club. Burleson said he then felt his hand being bitten. According to her, Mallatt was the owner of the poodles that bit her finger.
Burleson’s friend Nina Groth pulled Emma out of the fight. After they got into the car, Burleson said, Mallatt approached the driver and handed him his business card. That’s when she said she didn’t want to see him.
“I said you bit my finger. I put my hand up and it’s bleeding,” Burleson said. “He said that I wanted to bite my dog.”
Together they delivered the corgis to the veterinary clinic. The corgi, a therapy dog at Mad River Community Hospital, suffered cuts and puncture wounds in the attack.
Burleson said he called 911 and spoke with the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office. Law enforcement wasn’t very responsive, she told the Outpost, so she turned to the Del Norte County Animal Services Department.
Burleson said Outpost said her dog is scheduled for a second surgery on Tuesday.
Mallett is the founder of the nonprofit Critters4Service. According to her website, she trains service dogs to work with autistic children and adults. Mallatt and his poodles are often found in grocery stores in Humboldt and Del Norte counties.
“Our dogs help teach self-responsibility, help them gain independence, and act as a source of calm and a social bridge to their peers,” Mallatt says on her website.
On Oct. 30, the day after the attack on Burleson’s corgi, Mallatt posted a GoFundMe page saying animal control planned to seize her dogs. He says he needs help building a kennel in the Klamath Glen area and is looking for $2,500.
Mallatt’s GoFundMe page reads, “We’ve got a great location, but now we need a kennel to complete our project.” Mallatt could not be reached for comment.
Del Norte County Animal Services Director Justin Riggs said Tuesday that his officers have been investigating allegations of neglect and public nuisance against Mallatt for “some time.”
Del Norte Animal Control officers have also heard anecdotally that Mallatt’s dogs can be aggressive, but the attack on Burleson’s corgi “is the first evidence we have of that,” Riggs said.
“This is a very new aspect of the business and we will be reviewing the complaints we receive in the coming days,” Riggs said. Outpost. “Because the attack was in Humboldt County, they will take enforcement action on a case-by-case basis. We will use the information provided to us as part of a broader assessment of the situation.”
Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office public information specialist Samantha Karges said an Animal Control officer and a deputy responded to Burleson’s 911 call and the department is investigating a case. However, Karges has not yet recorded any records in this case The Lost Coast Plant Tuesday.
After the attack, Burleson said she was pleased and encouraged by the support she and Emma received. She said four dog trainers wrote to Animal Controls about Mallatt and her poodles.
Meanwhile, Emma is recovering. After Tuesday’s surgery, Burleson said his energy was up and he was in good spirits.
“It’s a miracle and we’re really grateful for it,” Burleson said.