Three large pit bulls attacked a small dog in Olds, killing it in his backyard.
RCMP were called at an Olds residence Saturday around 7 p.m. where Jake, a springer spaniel, had been attacked.
Doug Wagstaff, director of community services with the Town of Olds, said four pit bulls were on the loose in the neighbourhood, but only three dogs went inside the fenced yard.
There were no witnesses when the attack took place, he said.
Wagstaff said it appears the dogs pushed their way through the gate and fence and found Jake, about five blocks away from their house.
“We’re not able to confirm how they accessed the yard where the resident dog was at. Regardless, what is clear, they were at large and they did attack an animal and cause its eventual death because of the attack.”
Wagstaff said it is unknown how the dogs got out of their yard.
“There’s no witnesses and no physical determination of how they became loose,” said Wagstaff.
Jake’s owner, Rhonda Dodd posted on Facebook on Sunday, “our beloved family pet, Jake, passed away last night.”
She went on to say, “our hearts are broken. Please be advised these dogs are in Olds. This is a public safety issue. This could only have been worse if a child was involved.”
Shortly after the attack, a female friend of the pit bulls’ owner arrived and got control of the dogs. The owner arrived soon after and took responsibility and control of the animals, Wagstaff said.
The owner of the pit bulls, Lindsay Walsh, said his girlfriend suffered minor scratches while helping to get one of the dogs, Samson, off Dodd’s property.
Walsh decided to euthanize Samson to ensure such an incident never happens again.
“This is a very sad time for both of the families involved and I am hopeful that at some point I can earn forgiveness for Samson’s actions,” said Walsh.
“Samson will always be special to me, and I truly understand the hurt that the Dodd family is experiencing… I feel devastated for the Dodd’s loss.”
Wagstaff said there were no previous concerns of aggression with the pit bulls. Two of the dogs were picked up by municipal enforcement in April. At the time, they were taken to a veterinarian clinic and showed no evidence of aggression.
An incident such as this one is not only hard for the families, but also upsets the community, said Wagstaff.
“Especially when it’s in violation of the privacy of one’s own yard and that security has been lost. It’s not just for that one individual, it’s for the whole community, the knowledge there were animals on the loose that had this kind of result.”
Since the incident, a petition on Change.org is circulating to shut down Walsh’s dog breeding business.
Walsh did not comment on the petition.
As of Thursday afternoon, 233 people had signed the petition, with a goal of 500.