Dogs attacked in Rocky: fundraiser now on to help with vet bills

A public fundraising campaign is underway to help pay expensive veterinarian bills for two dogs that suffered serious injuries during attacks by other dogs in Rocky Mountain House.

A public fundraising campaign is underway to help pay expensive veterinarian bills for two dogs that suffered serious injuries during attacks by other dogs in Rocky Mountain House.

A web page has been set up at and an account named “Rocky dog attack” was opened on Friday at the Rocky Credit Union by Sue and Rick Overbaugh. People can go in to the credit union to make a donation. The online goal is $5,000 and within hours $390 had been raised.

Both dogs attacked were seriously injured. The initial vet bill for Jenna Ellefson’s dog was $663, and for Theresa Kokesch’s dog was $1,200. But the bills are expected to increase with further treatment.

Sue Overbaugh said her husband, Rick, a heavy duty mechanic and former member of the military, was the first person on the scene on Monday after he heard Ellefson’s screams on the walking path behind their home.

Three loose pit bulls were attacking Ellefson’s Belgian shepherd, Dakota. Overbaugh fought them off alone for several minutes until three Pioneer Middle School students and two other men who were driving by came to help.

Two of the pit bulls eventually ran on down the path, where they encountered 86-year-old Kokesch, who was walking her daughter Audrey Kokesch’s dog, a golden Labrador named Shelly. Again, Good Samaritans, some of them who had helped in the first attack, came to the rescue, helping the senior fight off the attacking dogs with sticks and by kicking.

Rocky Senior Peace Officer Jason Springham said the investigation is ongoing but no charges have been laid yet.

“We are putting all our resources into this,” he said.

“We’re still in the process of finishing up our investigation at this time and right now we’re looking at all the information in the statements that have been provided to us.”

Two of the pit bulls were apprehended and are being held by Alberta Animal Services, which has the Town of Rocky Mountain House’s animal control contract.

The third pit bull was not apprehended and is believed to have returned to its owner in Rocky.

The two that were captured are still being assessed, said Springham.

“We will be making an appropriate decision going forward with the dogs. Right now, that’s all I can say,” he said.

The town does have a dog bylaw that includes a section on aggressive dogs, similar to a bylaw in the City of Red Deer. There is also a provincial Dangerous Dog Act.

Sue Overbaugh said after the first attack, her husband walked Jenna and her injured dog home to make sure they got there safely.

He was upset when he learned about the other attack, she said.

“He’s still just so upset. He said it was horrific,” and he has been having trouble sleeping, Sue Overbaugh said.

She said it didn’t help that when she and one of the students both called 911 separately during the incident, they were both put on hold for five minutes. The calls are routed through a dispatch centre in Calgary.

Just Posted

Red Deer area businesses recognized at Business of the Year Awards night

“It’s an honour just to be nominated.” The popular words echoed throughout… Continue reading

Child sex offender should get 12 years: Crown prosecutor

Stuart Peter Hunt has pleaded guilty to 10 child sexual exploitation and pornography charges

Legalizing cannabis cost estimate for Red Deer just under $400k

Although the province of Alberta has announced $11.2 million for cannabis legalization,… Continue reading

WATCH: Every square tells a story: Edmonton expert is exploring Red Deer’s quilting history

Community members can bring in family heirloom quilts for documentation

WATCH: Two weeks away from Canadian Finals Rodeo in Red Deer

In just two weeks, Ponoka’s Shayna Weir will compete with the best… Continue reading

Film with Fan Bingbing, Bruce Willis cancelled after tax case

BEIJING — The director of “Air Strike,” featuring Chinese actress Fan Bingbing,… Continue reading

Michael Buble shuts down rumours of retirement from music

LOS ANGELES — Michael Buble is shutting down rumours that he’s going… Continue reading

After Canada legalizes pot, industry eyes rest of the world

MONTREAL — Cam Battley is a top executive at one of Canada’s… Continue reading

Facebook’s election ‘war room’ takes aim at fake information

MENLO PARK, Calif. — In an otherwise innocuous part of Facebook’s expansive… Continue reading

Military to overhaul morale-boosting trips after review finds serious problems

OTTAWA — Canada’s top general is overhauling military morale-boosting tours after an… Continue reading

Police hand out a few hefty fines for allegedly violating Cannabis Act

The celebratory mood that marked the legalization of recreational cannabis lost a… Continue reading

PHOTO: Say goodbye to City Hall Park flowers

A sure sign that winter is on its way is when City… Continue reading

PHOTO: Chew On This! campaign draws attention to national poverty

Lunch bags were being handed out in front of The Hub downtown… Continue reading

Most Read