Note: The following is to the best of our knowledge and has come from multiple sources, some second-hand.
Earlier this fall, Perry was attacked twice by the same dog, first on Sept 24 and then again on Nov 6, both times in the evening. There may have been a third incident where the dog was chasing the donkeys in the pasture. The dog, a German Shepherd mix, had been adopted as a rescue from a shelter in San Jose in August. After the second attack, the owner chose to surrender the dog back to that shelter rather than have it euthanize. In the second attack, the dog had been let off-leash near the Gunn parking lot and took off for the donkey pasture. Consequently, the shelter has been instructed (by Palo Alto Animal Services) that the dog is not to be adopted out into the greater Palo Alto area.
The owner was cited by Animal Services, part of the Police Department, and has paid for the medical care for the first attack. Settlement on the second attack is pending.
Niner does not seem to have been injured in these attacks, although there might have been minor bites that we did not detect. The attacks focused on Perry, whether because Niner being bigger was better able to defend himself, or because the dog chose Perry because he was smaller, or …
In the first attack, Perry had a 1×2-inch strip torn on his right cheek, which was stitched back on, and lesser bites on his legs. In the second attack, he had bites on his legs, belly and neck and had severe damage to much of his right cheek. These injuries were too severe to be treated in the pasture and he was transported to a veterinary facility for stitching, medication and to be closely monitored. He returned to the pasture after 4 days. His stitches were removed last Tuesday (Nov 20).
The bites on the body are healing nicely. On the cheek, one patch of skin did not reattach and the skin will have to regrow over that area and there are some gaps between the other patches. These areas is very red and has been described as looking like “raw hamburger”. The Vet looked at it on Friday (Nov 23) and said that although it looked bad, it wasn’t — that the surface has developed a good protective covering as the first step in regrowth of the skin.
On occasion, Perry may appear to have a swollen cheek. Not to worry. This is in fact food getting stuck between in the gap between the cheek and the teeth. Normally, a donkey uses their cheek muscles to clear this, but Perry is favoring his injuries and this allows for accumulation. A side-effect of this is that sometimes food will drop out of his mouth. The donkey handlers are monitoring this situation.
— Bob Frost, lead Donkey Handler