Coco, a 15-year-old dog, suffered serious neck injuries after being attacked by another dog Saturday on the Colquitz River Trail. Photo submitted

B.C. dog seriously injured after pit bull breaks free from owner

Attack by Staffordshire terrier resulted in $1,300 vet bill for 15-year-old dog

The owner of the dog that seriously injured another dog promises to abide by the decision of Saanich’s animal control services. The Staffordshire terrier, one of the breeds commonly referred to as a pit bull, attacked a 15-year-old dog who was walking on leash with its owners along the Colquitz River Trail.

“It’s my fault,” said Mike, who did not want to use his last name. “My dog got loose on me.”

Mike said he has owned dogs for 35 years and never had an incident that resulted in an injury to a person or another dog. “This was a very unfortunate incident,” he said.

Sgt. Jereme Leslie of the Saanich Police said the incident remains under investigation. Animal control services could either deem the dog “dangerous” or “aggressive,” with “dangerous” dogs subjects to more severe restrictions such as muzzling.

Mike said the restrictions on dogs deemed “dangerous” could be prohibitively expensive and force their owners to put them down.

The incident happened at about 6:15 p.m. Saturday near the intersection of Interurban Road and Dumeresq Street.

A Saanich couple was walking with their dog Coco on the Colquitz River Trail near Colquitz middle school when Mike’s dog escaped his hold.

“I had attached the leash to his collar and had stepped on the leash, so I could use both hands to put the halter back on,” he said. “I was just putting the halter on when my dog started to squirm and managed to escape my clutches.”

Mike said a large cedar hedge obstructed his view of what was happening. “My initial concern was my dog running onto the street or onto Interurban. Only after rounding the corner did I see the couple and their dog Coco.”

Contrary to previous reports, Mike said he did not see his dog immediately attack the other dog.

”He ran up to the man and his dog and for a moment the two dogs met nose to nose,” he said. “I could see both dogs had very alert postures. There was a very brief pause and sniff, but things changed very quickly. I saw my dog reach out and I knew he probably bit Coco.”

He said Coco’s owner did his best to try to break things up, first by kicking the Staffordshire and then by falling on both dogs.

Mike said he does not know why his dog would bite. “In my experience when two strange dogs meet, if one dog is apprehensive and twitches or growls or feints a nip, the other dog may respond just as my dog did,” he said. “There was no doubt that there was tension in the air as I could see the apprehension on the face of Coco’s owner. It did not help that…Coco is an older female and my dog is a young rambunctious male.”

The injuries to Coco required veterinarian treatment that added up to $1,300. Mike covered that bill, but also questioned the extent of the treatment that the dog received.

He said he understands that the incident has traumatized the couple, but also said the incident appears as something that it was not. “The dog is portrayed as some huge pit bull which aggressively charged at this other dog and went around the owner to get at him,” he said. “That is not what I saw.”

Mike said his dog weighs about 70 pounds – not 130 pounds as described by the owner of the other dog. “I agree that the public needs to be protected against dangerous dogs,” he said. “But the question is how we protect them.”

“I have nothing to apologize for,” he said, when asked whether he had apologized to the couple. “They [the couple] were a lot happier that I paid the [veterinarian] bill.”

wolfgang.depner@saanichnews.com

Just Posted

Kelowna Falcons coach hired by Toronto Blue Jays

Ryan Wright will join the franchise as a minor league hitting coach

Airplane lands safely at Kelowna International Airport

The airplane reportedly had engine troubles

Kelowna area MP responds to Conservative leader’s resignation

Dan Albas wishes Andrew Scheer well after Scheer’s surprise announcement he is stepping down.

‘The most stressful job I’ve ever loved’: URBA director announces resignation

Laurel D’Andrea will be leaving the Uptown Rutland Business Association in February

UPDATE: 2020 budget deliberations underway at City of Kelowna

The mayor and council have begun their eight-hour pore through the document

VIDEO: Andrew Scheer to resign as Conservative leader

Decision comes after weeks of Conservative infighting following the October election

All lifts open this weekend at SilverStar

Some terrain remains closed until more snow falls

Morning Start: Octopuses are brainier than you

Your morning start for Thursday, December 12, 2019

RCMP take care when burying sex mannequins found this year in Manning Park

Police tasked with ensuring the mannequins were completely disposed

B.C. seniors need better vaccine protection, advocate says

Home support down, day programs up in annual rating

Summerland grape growers issue fundraising challenge

Gerry and Kathy Ryan have donated $5,000 to the Tree of Dreams fundraising campaign

RCMP rescue wounded raven on Vancouver Island highway

Bird expected to make full recovery

Be aware of ticks when chopping down Christmas trees

Potential for ticks to transfer to clothing

More rowers come forward with complaints about coach, criticism of UVic

Barney Williams is accused of verbal abuse and harassment

Most Read