Great Dane Accused of Killing Dog in Off-Leash Park Released to Owner

Categories: Animals

zeuspic.jpg
Free Zeus on Facebook
Zeus' owners shared photos and stories of their beloved dog online after shocking charges emerged.
Zeus, the Great Dane accused of killing a Golden Retriever at a Wentzville dog park last month, returned home to his family Friday after an autopsy failed to find a cause of death for the Golden.

Zeus' family celebrated his homecoming by posting photos to the "Free Zeus" Facebook page, which Zeus' owner Bryon Orzel launched after news broke that his dog had killed a eleven-year-old Retriever named Buddy.

"I would personally like to say sorry for the pain and loss that the owners of Buddy are going through," Orzel says on the Facebook page, which drew 3,000 fans in two weeks. "For myself and my family, this has been extremely hard...Seeing all four of my girls and my girlfriend upset everyday broke me down, but I had to stay strong for my family and not let it show."

See also: Owner Turns In Great Dane Accused of Killing Golden Retriever in Wentzville Dog Park

Orzel used the Facebook page to tell his own side of the story after the news broke that his beloved dog killed a family pet. He says he brought Zeus to the Quail Ridge off-leash area for the second time ever on Sunday, March 30.

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Buddy the Golden Retriever.
While Zeus was leaning against Orzel's girlfriend, Buddy "came up under Zeus' belly and between his legs and nipped at his front paws," Orzel describes. "This in turn startled Zeus, and they began to fight. My girlfriend tried to break it up, and I immediately ran over."

Another dog got into the fight, Orzel says, and more people at the park rushed over to help. While Buddy's owner, Nick Andres, ran over to rescue his dog, a man at the dog park started screaming for the owner of the third dog to come claim his animal.

"The gentleman that was laying on [the third] dog started getting extremely vulgar and aggressive towards the young dog owner," Orzel writes. "I got up and walked away with Zeus and left."

Orzel says he was worried the other dog owner and the man who helped stop the fight would get into a physical altercation.

"Buddy was still breathing when I left," Orzel says. Orzel heard Buddy died from his dog groomer the next day. Then he turned Zeus over to authorities.

Authorities have not identified the third dog or owner involved in the fight.

An autopsy of Buddy showed "no puncture marks, crushing or other identifiable causes of death," according to Julie Eckstein, director of the St. Charles County Department of Community Health and the Environment.

Animal control officials aren't pressing charges, but they are putting Zeus on a special doggie probation: He'll have to attend training and socialization classes, submit to future behavior evaluations and wear a no-bite muzzle in situations with unfamiliar animals or people. Zeus is no longer allowed in dog parks or other off-leash animal facilities.

Andres, Buddy's owner, says he's staying away from dog parks forever after losing his dog.

"He was so intelligent and so intuitive," Andres told Daily RFT. "If he could talk, he'd be a person. I'll never be able to replace him."

Follow Lindsay Toler on Twitter at @StLouisLindsay. E-mail the author at Lindsay.Toler@RiverfrontTimes.com.



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107 comments
Bryon Orzel
Bryon Orzel

I'm the piece of shit you all are referring to. This will be my only comment and then you all can go back to ripping me apart. Until you walk in my shoes you don't know what you would do in that situation so don't act like you do know. This was not an ATTACK like you all are made to believe. It was a dog fight between multiple dogs. The rest of the story will be made public in a few days For all the support thanks For the rest of the negative stuff thanks everyone has to have haters

Yme Rojas-Adriano
Yme Rojas-Adriano

I love reading this thread because it shows how people can still change their opinion after hearing the other side of the story and apologize and forgive and still keep the love

Mariel Raterman Edwards
Mariel Raterman Edwards

Then you're the idiot! Did you read the earlier posts! He didn't know that the dog died!

Brenna Whitehurst
Brenna Whitehurst

This is the Dane owners daughter. My dad didn't know buddy was dead when he left. The media is very one sided. Please look at all the evidence before throwing out mean names. Please and thanks

Brenna Whitehurst
Brenna Whitehurst

He just admitted that his dog died of heart attack. No puncture wounds found on that dog

Brenna Whitehurst
Brenna Whitehurst

He didn't even know the dog was dying though when he left. Don't you read the articles before putting your two cents in?

Rick Firestein
Rick Firestein

This is what happens when the simple minded get their news from and believe the tabloid media. Sad case for all involved. I personally end up feeling more sorry for the Great Dane's family and what they are going thru for dogs being dogs.

Chrystal Montgomery
Chrystal Montgomery

Aww. Thanks. I Love them and will do my best to defend them if I feel it's right. If I don't agree, I just shut my mouth. And thAts hard for me. Haha

Mariel Raterman Edwards
Mariel Raterman Edwards

Definitely. And I will tell your side if I ever hear it brought up. Your family is lucky to have you!

Chrystal Montgomery
Chrystal Montgomery

I'm hoping that the story makes, maybe not headlines, but hopefully in the paper. It's good to know both sides, then people can come to their own conclusion. He tried to do his best to correct his mistake.

Mariel Raterman Edwards
Mariel Raterman Edwards

Chrystal, I am sorry. I couldn't imagine my family being persicuted without hearing their side!

Chrystal Montgomery
Chrystal Montgomery

I appreciate you listening. Like I said, very hard to hear people talk so bad about someone you know is so nice. I can't wait for their side to come out.

Greg Frankhouser
Greg Frankhouser

Want to comment, but I will not. Full PLOOPPP on your dog, when it's invloved. Full PLOPP!!! Best that one can do.

Mariel Raterman Edwards
Mariel Raterman Edwards

I never gave death threats and I apologized about the name calling. Your story gave me a different perspective on the situation. The newspaper gives the Great Dane a bad name. But I'm glad you were able to speak your mind about the story that wasn't heard.

Chrystal Montgomery
Chrystal Montgomery

Look Mariel, I really don't want to argue with anyone. It's hard having people attack your family. Especially when they only know one side. I promise, you'll hear the other side shortly.

Chrystal Montgomery
Chrystal Montgomery

So Mariel, you were there? You're saying they didn't stop it? Cause my cousin and her bf stopped their dog but people tried to get the third dog off the retriever. Zeus was put through all tests, they wouldn't have let him go if he didn't pass. He now has a ton of rules and regulations for life he will live by. My cousin and her bf have complied with every single thing that they have asked. The retriever had ZERO marks. He died of a heart attack. It really is sad. Like I said, at the time, maybe he wasn't thinking correctly but did he fix that?? Yes. He honestly could have stayed anonymous. I know my cousin and I couldn't utter a bad thing about her and to read these comments about wishing someone would shoot the owners or calling them names and ect..... It angers me. People make mistakes and if they correct them, why give them shit?

Mariel Raterman Edwards
Mariel Raterman Edwards

Like I said, you see an animal being attacked. Wouldn't you stop to make sure they were okay?

Chrystal Montgomery
Chrystal Montgomery

I am not aware of the entire story. But, yes the situation was escalating and instead of another scene occurring he left. Then he turned himself In, once he was told of what happened. It might not have been the right thing at the time, but with all that was going on it would have been difficult for anyone. Plus nothing has come of the third Dog. And since when does someone making a mistake and the trying to correct it call for death threats or being called names? I'm guessing nobody on here has made a mistake. It must be good being a saint.

Michelle Sanders
Michelle Sanders

Mariel Raterman Edwards and the news ran with only one side of the story. Even after the dane was turned in, NO ONE asked for the side of the great danes owners. Even after he was released because he did not kill buddy the headlines were "the great dane who killed the golden retriever is released". Still marking him as a killer which he is NOT!

Mariel Raterman Edwards
Mariel Raterman Edwards

Well, this is the first response I've gotten that knows more than all of us on this feed. Chrystal I am sorry to offend you. We don't know the inside story. Just what we've read in the papers.

Keith Edwards
Keith Edwards

What happened next will be hard for Buddy’s family to ever forget. “His tongue was hanging out and it was blue, and I touched his eye and he didn’t blink. We just laid there with him for a while,” says Andres. Then, he and his family lovingly wrapped Buddy in blankets, placed him in their car, and took him to the funeral home next door to their vet. Meanwhile, the owner of this Great Dane just took his dog and walked away. Andres says, “He saw me laying on my dog trying to get him back, and he didn’t stop and say hey man, I’m sorry, or say, can I help, or can I call somebody? Nothing. He just left.” B

Chrystal Montgomery
Chrystal Montgomery

Mariel, POS offended me. His girlfriend, is my cousin. She is definitely bit a POS. If you have any shit talking to do, say it to me. You don't know these people. They are good people in a bad situation.

David Emrick
David Emrick

Waaaaa..cryon ass babies.let it go.take care of yours and let it go people.get of internet with all this hate.

Alex Bothmann
Alex Bothmann

I do understand, I would hate the thought of feeling like you/your dog had been attacked and they just took off. I was just hoping to offer the thought that maybe the danes owner had quite literally been cussed out of the park. At which point, I personally wouldn't know in what manner would be appropriate to go back in and try and see if there was anything to be done. Only if it is the case that the third party was harassing. If not, yes the danes owner was 100% butthead, I completely agree.

Amanda Wiltse
Amanda Wiltse

Glad the dane is home. Sorry for the family of the other dog.

Steve Ernst
Steve Ernst

The owner of buddy is a bigger man than me, he is definitely taking it better than I would. If that were my dog something would've died.

Mariel Raterman Edwards
Mariel Raterman Edwards

Aside from "who killed the dog", be a fucking decent human being and attend to the guy with the dying dog!

Alex Bothmann
Alex Bothmann

Dogs scuffle, it's totally normal. Maybe the third owner said they needed to leave immediately. Since there were no bites how was the danes owner to know buddy was having a heart attack or that anydog was actually injured. I don't think they knowingly walked away from 'a crime'. It wasn't all blood and they just ran. I honesty think the danes owner or dog 3's owner didn't know how bad it was. Otherwise they probably would have kept respectfully cool and waited for the police. Does that seem logical?

Michelle Sanders
Michelle Sanders

Melissa Travous they aren't looking for the third dog because once the owner of the great dane found out buddy died and he turned him in they pinned it all on the dane. The dane did not kill buddy as the necropsy proved that. Tony Weber u are right!!

Keith Edwards
Keith Edwards

Tony. If you walk away and take no responsibility the only way to be seen is as a coward or an ass. This is not looking back with hind sight. This is about stepping up as a person and doing what's right. I'm no saint but I do not walk away from a situation because it may not convienice me.

tobyandsam
tobyandsam

You stay strong. I have 2 big boys and a big girl of my own. People will blame Zeus bc he's big. There's been no proof he caused Buddy's death AND there were other people/another dog involved that all make up the pieces to this story. Buddy's family has lost their best friend, and from what I see you sympathize with that. You're not discounting their pain. I can myself imagine your pain as well from facing the potential loss of YOUR best friend bc people want blood. From my eyes you've done what you can. You've cooperated with authorities to get to the facts and now you're agreeing to their very strict terms of him being released to you. Even though I don't know you or Buddy's family, you all have been on my mind and in my heart. You have tons of rational people who care ab the truth that support you.

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