Accidental Yukon heroes

Shirley Peirson grew up with huskies and knows how to break up a dogfight. But the Dawsonite had never done battle with a pit bull before. Neither had her dad, Abraham.

Shirley Peirson grew up with huskies and knows how to break up a dogfight.

But the Dawsonite had never done battle with a pit bull before.

Neither had her dad, Abraham.

But that didn’t faze the Yukoners.

The pair were in Surrey, B.C., where Abraham now lives. They were on their way back from Ikea when they saw a commotion a block ahead.

“As we got closer, I realized it was a dog attacking another dog,” said Shirley.

Abraham stopped the truck in the middle of the street and jumped out with Shirley.

“There was a pit bull attached onto this terrier,” she said.

The pit bull’s owner was standing there with a stick but he wasn’t doing anything but “hollering his head off,” said Abraham.

That’s when the Peirsons jumped in.

“I kicked it in the jaw,” said Shirley. “Then my dad grabbed it by the back legs and swung it around.”

At this point, the owner of the pit bull ran back into his house.

Shirley told the woman with the terrier to run across the street, but the pit bull chased her and latched onto her dog again.

“I had got hold of the pit bull by the legs and pulled it away, but then when it went to bite me, I had to let it go,” said Abraham.

The Yukoners ran across the street after the dog and managed to get it off the terrier again.

“I told the lady to run, get in our truck, but she couldn’t get across the street,” said Shirley.

“The whole time this was happening people just kept driving by.”

There were also a bunch of people staring out of windows, but no one would let the woman and her dog in, she said.

Again, the pit bull coiled around to bite Abraham, who had to let go, and it latched onto the terrier a third time.

Desperate to get the pit bull off her dog, the woman had been trying to pull them apart and had her hands ripped up.

“She was just covered in blood,” said Shirley.

Shirley’s kicks to the jaw were effective, and Abraham swung the dog around again.

“If there had been something to crack its head against, I would have but it was all hedges,” he said.

For a fourth time, the dog grabbed the terrier.

“This time, I knew if we didn’t get that dog off, the terrier was dead,” said Shirley.

“The whole time (the terrier) was just lying there on its back, crying. It never tried to fight back.”

Shirley ran up to the pit bull again and “just started kicking the hell out of it.”

The woman and her dog ran and hid behind a hedge.

“It was so sad to see her crawling into bushes holding onto her dog,” she said.

The pit bull was running around looking for the lady’s dog, so Shirley ran at the pit bull screaming.

“I guess that was stupid, but I was just so mad,” she said.

It worked.

The pit bull ran back across the street and into the house its owner had run into earlier.

Shirley and her dad bundled the woman and her terrier into their truck and headed for the nearest vet.

“And the whole time this was happening people just kept driving by, and driving around our truck and no one stopped to help,” said Shirley.

“It was pathetic,” said Abraham.

The vets wanted to know if the Peirsons owned the pit bull. Then they assumed they were family.

“They couldn’t believe we were just people who stopped to help,” said Shirley.

“I said, ‘Yeah, well, we’re from the Yukon.’”

Back in Dawson, Shirley has stayed in touch with the woman.

“Her dog is still in the vets’, and was just covered in punctures, but it’s going to make it,” she said.

The vets also called the local SPCA about the pit bull, added Abraham.

“You hear about these kinds of attacks on the news,” said Shirley. “But when you see it, it’s just horrifying … and nobody stopped down there.”

It’s a “me-first society,” said Abraham. “Everyone’s just looking out for themselves.

“I’ve even heard of people being injured in downtown Vancouver and people just keep driving by.

“I’m glad I’ve still got a little strength in me,” added Abraham.

Contact Genesee Keevil at

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