The owner of a small dog that had to be put down after another dog attacked it is pleading with authorities to ensure that nobody else has to go through a similar experience.
Desiree Churchill’s seven-pound Yorkie was badly mauled by one of two large dogs that slipped out of a neighbour’s house and ran at Churchill as she walked her three small dogs last Sunday afternoon on Ashgrove Avenue.
“They got out of the house and started running toward us and Mia huddled in a ball. He picked her up and started shaking her,” recalled Churchill as she choked back tears.
“I was using the leash handles to try and hit him but it didn’t do anything. Finally a couple of guys came from the house and the dog let go and started running down the street.”
Tiny Mia was bleeding from multiple bite marks.
Churchill was in shock but quickly got the animal to a veterinarian who immediately administered pain medication. An examination and X-rays showed Mia had three broken ribs, a gaping wound exposing her intestines and a possible hernia.
“At that point I still thought I might be able to bring her home,” wept Churchill.
But when the vet checked on surgery options in Oakville, Churchill learned the procedure would cost $4,000 to $6,000 — and that was only if there were no complications.
“I had to face the fact she might be better off being put down and the vet agreed.”
Churchill’s sister, Sandra Churchill, went to the neighbour’s home to inform them the dog was dead.
“They were very blasé and one guy was holding the dog back while it was growling. His excuse was that one of the dogs was in heat but this is the second attack we know of.”
The sisters said there’s a king shepherd and two other large dogs in the home and other neighbours have told them they have complained to the SPCA about the dogs’ aggressive natures.
“We learned that two weeks prior to our attack, the same dog attacked someone else’s dog and was in quarantine,” said Desiree Churchill.
A woman who answered the door at the home of the large dogs said she had been instructed not to say anything while the incident is under investigation.
She confirmed the dog is a family-owned pet.
The Churchills reported the incident to the police who have referred it on to the SPCA for further investigation.
SPCA agent Ian Harrower said Saturday the agency is still gathering information for the investigation but he’s unaware of the same dog being involved in any previous attacks.
Harrower said the SPCA gets a large number of calls about dog-on-dog attacks and dog-to-human bites.
“It’s very high volume. At least once or twice a week someone calls about a problem. Many of them, like this one, are very serious.”
Harrower expects to have more information about the incident later in the week.
Meanwhile, the sisters want to warn people about the dogs. They’ve informed many of the frequent dog-walkers in their area and people are avoiding the home, they said.
“Having a powerful dog comes with some powerful responsibility,” said Desiree Churchill, who is left with a $613 veterinarian bill.