Puppy put down after attack at off-leash dog park
A nine-month-old puppy had to be put down after he was gravely injured by a German shepherd during an attack at an off-leash dog park in North Battleford Monday.
Lyle Kennedy posted a video of the attack to Facebook in the hopes of finding the German shepherd’s owner. He said the dog’s owner gave him a phone number to contact him, but when he called the number was unlisted.
The video shows a German shepherd grab Kennedy’s Shih Tzu-Yorkie cross, Finn, in its mouth before shaking him violently like a rag doll.
Since the post, the dog’s owner has come forward and said his German shepherd has never displayed similar behaviour before.
“They're very apologetic and willing to help out with the costs, some of the costs, as much as they can, which is greatly appreciated,” Kennedy said.
The attack was witnessed by Kennedy, his wife and their four children, who are between six and 15 years old. It was captured on video by Kennedy's wife who was recording Finn's first time at the dog park.
Finn suffered a severed spine, according to Kennedy. The puppy was partially paralyzed and couldn’t control his bowel movements.
Before Finn was put down, Kennedy spent Thursday at the intensive care unit at the University of Saskatchewan’s vet centre, anxiously waiting to hear the condition of the puppy.
"I'm still a little upset, well very upset not a little about what happened but I'm trying to handle it the best I can,” he told CTV Saskatoon before hearing the news late Thursday afternoon Finn had to be put down.
After seeing the video, Saskatoon obedience trainer Dave Haddon said the German shepherd didn’t look aggressive and could have thought Finn was a fluffy toy. He said an attack like that can happen in an instant.
"It's not breed specific,” Haddon said. “It's temperament and the way the owners bring their dog into the world and the way they let the dog adapt to society and they have to take responsibility and they have to work on that.”
Owners need to know how their own dog acts and reacts and if it’s too friendly or too aggressive, if it needs a leash or a muzzle, according to Haddon. He added new dogs should be brought together slowly, or not at all.
Kennedy said he hopes sharing his family’s story will save other families from similar heartache.