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

UPDATE: Construction on Hwy. 4 halted after tree crashes into traffic

Trees are being cleared along the highway between Port Alberni and the Tofino-Ucluelet junction.

115 new wildfires burning across B.C. due to 19,000 lightning strikes

More fires expected to start today, says BC Wildfire Service officials

Find your groove with hand drums in Port Alberni

Nanaimo-based trio will be holding drumming workshop and concert

Alberni Senior Men’s Floor Hockey League reunites

Port Alberni has always been a hockey town, even when there was no ice

Heat wave hits Port Alberni

Open fires prohibited in Coastal Fire Region

Port Alberni celebrates National Aboriginal Day

Events took place on Thursday, June 21

Rescued Oregon family simply unprepared for adventure, RCMP say

Agencies now helping the group of four get to their destination in Alaska

Large B.C. tree dies after possible poisoning

Police and District investigate after large chestnut tree’s rapid decline

Canucks release 2018-19 season schedule

Vancouver to face Calgary Flames on Wednesday, Oct. 3, for home opener

VIDEO: Luxury Home and Design Show opens with Italian flare

Event set to run Friday to Sunday at BC Place in Vancouver

Small new charge on BC Hydro bills goes toward new crisis fund

The new fund aims to help customers who find themselves in financial emergencies

UPDATED: Crown appeals B.C. polygamous leader’s acquittal in child bride case

James Oler had been charged with taking his underage daughter to the U.S. to marry her off

Fake cops ‘arrest’ woman, steal $6,000 in latest CRA scam

Vancouver police urge people not take calls from anyone saying they’re from the Canada Revenue Agency

Study shows increase in mountain bike tourism in B.C.

Numbers are up, way up, for bike-related visits to the province

Most Read