Attack has Chilliwack dog owner calling for muzzles

'It was just horrible, lots of blood,' said Chilliwack dog owner Rita Young.

Rita Young

A gory scene that played out on a quiet street last Friday afternoon is being investigated by Chilliwack’s animal control officers.

Tiny, a nine-year-old chihuahua, was leashed and heading out for an afternoon walk with his daughter, Petite, and best buddy, Chico. They were all on leashes held by their owner.

As the trio neared the sidewalk on Maple Avenue, a pair of larger dogs came walking up the sidewalk. They saw the chihuahuas and pulled the woman walking them on their leashes toward the trio. She was unable to hold them back. One of the larger dogs violently attacked Tiny, tearing him in two.

It all happened very quickly, said owner Rita Young. She heard the commotion from the kitchen, as her husband was taking the dogs out after lunch.

By chance, Young’s daughter, granddaughter, and great grandson were all in the yard. Many of them were screaming and crying, and the owner of the larger dogs was also upset.

“I ran outside because I was in the house,” Young said, describing the bloody scene in her driveway. “It was just horrible, lots of blood. It was just plain horrible.”

Animal control officers from the FVRD responded very quickly to the call, said communications manager Jennifer Kinneman.

“The event is still under investigation,” she said, limiting the detail that can be released. “I can confirm that the offending dog was apprehended by the FVRD.”

And while Young said the dogs “looked like they were pit bulls,” Kinneman confirmed that they were not.

“It was not a pit bull,” she said. “All animals have the potential to be aggressive and I think it’s the responsibility of the owners to always keep that in mind.”

The fate of the dog who killed Tiny is unknown as of yet, while officers investigate the incident. The owner gave the dog up without issue, and the dog does not have a known history of being violent. Kinneman did not rule out the possibility that the dog could be put down, but said the decision would be weighed heavily.

“Under our bylaw and under our process, we don’t go down that road very easily,” Kinneman said. “Certainly there are factors to consider and every situation is unique. For sure, this is a horrible, horrible accident.”

But Young is hoping that the dog is put down, and more than that she hopes owners of larger dogs will one day be required to have them muzzled in public.

“It was a danger to society, that dog,” Young said. “I told them, I want him put down, I have a five-year-old child who comes over to see me every day, I wouldn’t want anything to happen to him.”

She believes muzzling dogs could potentially save a child’s life.

“I cannot take the chance to have another one of those things happening, on my part of the street,” she said.

In the meantime, Chico and Petite are busy searching the home for their lost friend and dad.

“They’re looking for Tiny everywhere, they look all over,” Young said. “Chico, that was his real buddy. He’s trying to climb on the furniture, trying to find him. They miss him, that’s for damned sure.”

jpeters@theprogress.com

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