Elizabeth From took her doberman, Drako, to a Aldergrove dog park on Tuesday afternoon for some routine fresh air and playtime, but the owner said her dog was involved in an unprovoked attacked by a black pitbull.
“I tried to grab my dog, and the pitbull bit my hand very badly,” From said. “The woman had no control over her dog, and it just went after him over and over again. She finally got him on a leash, and it kept dragging her after my dog.”
From said she got out of the dog park gate with Drako, but was so shook up and hurt, she wasn’t able to get the other owner’s information.
Though Drako made it out of the incident unharmed, From has since filed a report with Langley Animal Protection Society (LAPS) and the Langley RCMP.
“The pitbull was going for his throat when it bit me, because I was trying to grab my dog’s collar,” she recalled. “I am happy it got me instead, because it may have killed my dog if it had gotten him in the throat.”
She said there should be stricter rules when taking pets to a public area, noting that she owns another dog who is not so friendly with others.
“I never take her there or let her loose. She is always completely in control at all times,” From added.
She advised owners to use caution and common sense as they visit the dog park.
“This was a completely avoidable situation if her dog was in control,” From said. “And she did not even seem concerned her dog had bitten me. She didn’t even apologize or ask if I was okay. The whole situation was pretty disturbing.”
LAPS is contracted by the municipal government to investigate according to animal bylaws.
Sean Baker, manager of animal control with LAPS, advised never to reach inwards to separate fighting dogs.
“There have been many cases of owners getting bit by their own animal. So never try and reach in with your hand to break them up,” Baker explained. “They become so focused on what they are doing, it’s almost as if the rest of their senses are turned off and they get confused with what’s happening around them.”
He encouraged owners to instead use a garden tool like a broom or a garden hose to spray them with water, and even yelling and shouting to attempt to get their attention.
If they are too unpredictable, Baker recommended keeping them on a leash at all times.
People are encouraged to report incidents.
“We can’t do anything about what we don’t know,” he said.
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Baker said it’s best to “keep your head about you,” because it can be challenging to follow up on incidents that took place in a busy dog park.
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