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my dog attacked a small dog.

April 23rd, 2007, 08:18 PM
Hi everyone,

Please let me introduce myself...
I am the owner of a 4 years old Husky. I have owned him for 2 years. He has been playing with many dogs in the town we used to live in and we recently moved to a new town. He is neutered. I have never had any signs of agression coming from my dog before this incident.

We went to the off-leash dog park today in the town we just moved into. We were having a great day playing with other dogs. Until this little (chihuahua-sized) dog came along and my dog just pounced on the little dog and bit him and threw him like it was a toy. I immediately ordered my dog to stop and so did the lady owning the smaller dog. My dog immediately stopped.

I gave the lady my phone number and she brought her dog to the vet. I got a call from the vet which asked about the incident. She said the small dog may not survive the accident. She said she will call me tomorrow to tell me how the small dog is doing. I am not the most wealthy of all, I am a university student just barely making it.

I am worried about the bill, what will they do to my dog.. what can they do?!
Anyone ever been in this situation? I need some reassurance. I feel TERRIBLE. I dont think there was anything I could have done to prevent this situation from happening.. I dont think Ill ever be going to an off-leash park again...

Anyone?! HELP!

I feel so sad and remorsfull. What should I do?

April 23rd, 2007, 08:43 PM
That is awful for you and the other owner and dog. I hope the dog makes it. Huskys do have a high prey drive. I agree avoid dog parks they really are accidents waiting to happen. You did all the right things. There is really nothing they do to you or your dog if it was a person it would be different. My last dog had a very high prey drive but it did not pertain to dogs but anything else that was small and moved he would be after it in a second. All you can do is offer to pay the bill. When we used to go to the off leash dog park there was a rule we all agreed to any injuries we split the bill. I hope all turns out well. Keep us posted

April 23rd, 2007, 09:42 PM
I really enjoyed having this new off-leash dog park in this new town. We used to have to take a pack of 6 dogs to the back roads of our previous township because there was no where to walk your dog off-leash. Now that I have had this bad experience, I really do think that off-leash parks are accidents waiting to happen. Anyone had bad off-leash park experiences??

April 23rd, 2007, 10:05 PM
Where are you? You'd have to educate yourself on the dog laws where you are. I know in Montreal, if a dog bites any living being, human or animal, the owner can be sued and there can be a fine or the dog can be put down. You really have to become aware of your rights and the laws.

I hope the dog makes it. :fingerscr

It was good of you to give her your number though. I used to go to the dog park every day (lived right near a good one), and if anything ever happened that was my dogs' fault, no doubt I'd pay the vet bills, if only to try to help smooth things over. Nothing ever happened with my two though. :o

April 23rd, 2007, 10:24 PM
hmm if this incident happened in an off-leash dog park, and your dog is not aggressive but was just having a "prey drive" moment, obviously the smaller dog will suffer because of size difference, etc... you may be ok but do check the laws and your rights. i hope the little guy makes it :grouphug:

April 23rd, 2007, 11:01 PM
Sorry to hear this happened. I just wanted to say you are really a great person for being honest about it. I'm sure things will be okay due to your honesty. I hope it all works out for you and the doggies involved.

April 23rd, 2007, 11:17 PM
Hmmm yes, find out about local laws. My parent's dog "bit" another dog, (except by "bit" I mean, the two dogs were rolling around and my parent's dog's tooth litterally made a little scrape in the other dog's ear... no more than a mL of blood was drawn) and the other owner filed a complaint, claiming that my parent's dog was viscious:rolleyes: . So first off, it all depends on whether or not the other owner files a complaint. But if her dog dies, I would count on it. Then what happened was a k-9 unit police officer came by and met with each party individually to get the stories. Then, there had to be an arrangement where the other owner came over and id'ed the dog (which in my parent's case took forever, because the other couple was trying to extort my parents out of a couple hundred dollars in order for them to drop the case, and they weren't counting on my parent's not paying them hush money.. anyways...) once the dog is id'ed then the dog has a temperment test, carried out in its own home. If it is deemed aggressive, it may have to be put down. If it is not, then you pay the vet bills and maybe a fine.

April 23rd, 2007, 11:51 PM
I now live in Nelson, BC. Luckily, I registered my dog when moving here. I hope this makes it better for me in the end. I'm definately losing sleep over this. I can't seem to find anything on the internet about the by-laws of my dog attacking another dog in Nelson's off-leash dog park.

Thank you everyone for the support. Any suggestions or comments more would still be appreciated. I think I'll be coming around this forum more often :)

April 24th, 2007, 12:23 AM
What an awful thing for you both. I'll keep my fingers crossed for a good recovery for the little dog. Unfortunately some dogs are just so small and delicate that they are very fragile. It has been a while but I know that Nelson used to be very dog un-friendly. You weren't even allowed to walk down the main street with your dog on-leash. Hopefully things have changed :fingerscr . Good luck :) .

April 24th, 2007, 12:30 AM
Well, I live in downtown Nelson, and you are right. I can't even walk my dog on leash on my own street because I live "downtown". Sucky. It's sort of unfortunate, since I don't even own a car. So I look both ways on the street to make sure I don't see a security officer and make a b-line to a dog permitted area to take a on-leash walk.

April 24th, 2007, 03:25 AM
I hope everything works out for you and your dog. and the liitle dog makes.
:fingerscr :goodvibes: for all involved

April 24th, 2007, 07:20 AM
:pray: the little one makes it:pray:
It's water under the bridge,but if I had a little Chi,I would not go to a dog-park,big dogs can do damage just beeing playful.
I hope everyone comes out of this ok,including the poor little Chi:fingerscr
What kind of city will not allow you to walk a dog on the sidewalks,as long as you have a poopbag,what's the problem?

April 24th, 2007, 07:45 AM
:pray: That everything turns out o.k.

April 24th, 2007, 10:47 AM
I agree with you Chico, if I was a toy-breed owner, I would not bring my dog to an off-leash dog park either... especially after what happened here yesterday. What do you small-dog owners think? Do you bring your pup to the off-leash dog park? :fingerscr :pray: I'm waiting for news from the vet very impatiently. I only slept 4 hours last night...agh.

April 24th, 2007, 11:29 AM
wow, what a scary incident.

I try to only use the dog park at "off peak" hours, when only 1 or 2 other dogs are there. If a small dog shows up, I immediately leash up my dog and leave. My dog isn't all that large either - he's 50lbs. (he's a sighthound mix w/ a HIGH prey drive)

He's already proven himself too rough for small breeds. A friend of mine has a maltese, whom my dog grabbed and dragged around (like a toy). Thankfully, no injuries happened, and we caught it immediately, but ever since then I'm very aware of the possibilities of real injury to a small dog, so I avoid the situation all together. (IMO, better to be safe, than sorry)

I'm sorry this happened to you, and I hope for a good outcome. Please keep us posted.

April 24th, 2007, 11:39 AM
So sorry to hear about your incident. Cody, my 10 mo. old Cocker Spaniel, visited our local leash free park this morning. It's only about the 3rd time I've taken him in. There were only 2 other dogs and they looked to be playing very nicely, so we took a chance. By the time we left, there were about 6 dogs there, all larger than Cody. He held his own, but they make me nervous when the play starts getting rough. He was knocked to the ground a couple of times.:eek: I can't imagine taking a tiny dog into one of those places!! Everyone says that socialization is so important in their training, but your troubles are a perfect example of how the unexpected can happen.
Sure hope the little guy comes through okay, and you can put the whole thing behind you.:fingerscr

April 24th, 2007, 04:47 PM
I hope everything works out ok for the little guy.

I don't often take my little pup to off leash parks, because I am scared something could happen. But (and in no way am I saying the OP did anything wrong) why is it that people always think off leash parks are ok for big doggies, but little ones shouldn't go just in case something happens? Little doggies like to run around, too. I have one park that we do go to because there's often just a small amount of dogs, all sizes, but not too many. Tommy's favourite running mate is an 80 pound rottie, LOL. But off leash parks should be there for everybody to enjoy, and use common sense with their animals. Accidents do happen - and I'm sure that's what it was in this case - but I have seen other incidents that were really preventable, and not just by keeping the little dogs at home.

April 24th, 2007, 05:38 PM
Sorry to hear about your experience at Nelson's dog park. I've heard that they are not the dog friendliest town. We live just outside of Castlegar and were going to stop at the dog park in Nelson one day but now I'm glad we didn't. I have a 2 yr. old Siberian Husky and he plays really rough so I only allow him to play with dogs his size. He has played with smaller ones and not hurt them but I'm always afraid that he could unintentionally. I hope the little dog recovers.....keep us posted and good luck. :fingerscr :goodvibes: :goodvibes:

BTW, welcome to the forum and we'd love to see pics of your boy. :)

April 24th, 2007, 06:51 PM
Did you hear any news from the vet yet?

April 24th, 2007, 07:26 PM
I haven't had ANY news from the vet yet and I'm still worried sick! I don't want to go to the vet and impose myself either. I still feel terrible!! What could be taking them so long to call me? Its been over 24 hours now since the incident happened.

I havent been able to eat all day. I went to the local SPCA to see what were my rights and the animal by-laws in the city but unfortunately, they couldn't tell me for the city of Nelson what the by-laws or rights were. Strange, since the SPCA is located in the town.

They gave me the Animal Control Officer's phone number... but I don't want to call and get in trouble without a complaint.:sad:

April 24th, 2007, 07:35 PM
I would call the vet. It's discrete, and you're not imposing yourself. It just shows you're concerned. I hope the little guy's ok:fingerscr

April 24th, 2007, 08:06 PM
I am so sorry this had to happen to you and the little chi:sad: I have only used an off-leash park once, but there were no other dogs around at the time. Thank you for sharing your story with us. If I ever decide to use an off-leash park in the future, I will be very cautious. I have a collie who is very sociable with other dogs, but you never know. Perhaps off-leash parks are not a very good idea for toy breeds. Its so sad, please let us know how this all turns out:fingerscr

April 24th, 2007, 08:17 PM
I agree with are only showing you care by showing your concern

April 24th, 2007, 08:19 PM
Well, the vet must be closed by now... its past 6 PM.... I will try to call tomorrow morning.:sick:

April 24th, 2007, 08:51 PM
Well... good news and bad news... the good news: The little dog survived the night..they thaught her hind legs were paralysed but she started getting feelings in her back legs this morning. I spoke with the owner of the dog, I agreed to pay the vet bill. I don't know how much it is yet. She said that she forgives me :pray: Me and her will keep in touch... i hope it will be ok for this little dog. She said she has been giving her lil pup some morphine ever couple of hours through injections and that her back had a few fractures and breaks :(

Thank you everyone for the support! :grouphug:

I think this is the least that could happen to me... this could have gone MUCH further.

April 24th, 2007, 09:08 PM
Thanks for the update.hopefully she will be back on her feet soon.if she's got feeling back in her legs.

April 24th, 2007, 10:05 PM
That is good news I hope the dog improves. I am glad the woman has forgiven you, she obviously realizes that you were also horrified and acted so quickly to stop it. :grouphug:

April 24th, 2007, 10:29 PM
I hope the little dog continues to recover. :fingerscr :goodvibes: And, glad the woman doesn't hold anything against you. :grouphug: Is the dog at home with her now?

April 25th, 2007, 09:27 AM
Yes, the dog is at home receiving morphine shots every couple of hours. The lil pup only spent one night at the vet. I wonder how much this vet bill will b e. I dont think i can afford anything over 500$

April 25th, 2007, 12:31 PM
The woman should have got the bill from the vet when she picked up her dog. Good luck. :fingerscr :goodvibes:

April 25th, 2007, 01:46 PM
Snowgrrl, I'm so glad the little Chi pulled through, and is home recuperating. I hope he will make a complete recovery from his injuries. poor little thing:pray: . :goodvibes:

What a horribly upsetting experience for all.:sad:

I'm glad the woman holds no ill will towards you. I'm sure she understands how awful you feel, and appreciates your expressions of sincere regret and concern. You are also assuming full financial responsibility. That is all you can do.

Neither one of you could have ever predicted this would happen... but I have to say it was a very unwise move on her part having a tiny Chi in an offleash dog park.
They are far too small and delicate for this high-energy environment, can be injured even accidentally from the larger dog's exuberance.
I'm sure she realizes this now.:shrug:

Though your dog turned on the little one, I wonder where the responsibility would lie with an accidental, unintentional injury?:confused:
I think many large dog owners would put the onus on the tiny dog's owner.. for knowingly put it in harms way.

I have a toy breed dog, two of my favourite parks have offleash areas, both of which we avoid. One's not too bad, but the other seems like a doggy free-for-all at times.:eek: The pace is fast and furious at both though, as medium, large and very large dogs engage in the fun of full-out play.
My 6 pound dog just can not fit in with this scenario.. far too risky.

I hope the vet bill wont be too high for you, maybe you can arrange to make monthy payments on it, to ease the financial burden

April 25th, 2007, 02:51 PM
I'm thinking this is getting really strange because the lady told me that she had not gotten the bill total yet and when I called the vet where she got the services from, they told me that they couldn't tell me because of confidential issues. They told me that the vet would call me back and that was hours ago....agh. This is really frustrating. I'm now counting my pennies and eating peanut butter sandwiches...:2cents:

I dont know if they are planning something specific...but geeez......I just want this to be done and behind me now.

April 25th, 2007, 03:32 PM
Well, if the dog is home..she must have a bill for the expenses.

It's possible that their might be some additional costs.. pain meds,followups,etc.. but there has to be a total to date.:confused:

The vets often make their calls at the end of the day, so hopefully you will be able to talk with them soon, and get clarification on what was done.. and the charges You'll of course need a copy of all invoices.

Good luck with everything, I'm sorry you're having to deal with this.:fingerscr

April 25th, 2007, 03:50 PM
It is possible they are not sure yet what the lasting effects will be on this little dog,I am sure he's not out of the woods yet and that's why the owner does no know the full price yet.
I believe she should cover some of the cost,it was foolish of her to bring a little Chi to the dog-park.
Not that small dogs should not be able to enjoy a run,but the danger is,larger dogs might see them as prey,especially a little Chi.
However I also think you were lucky,she did not charge you with owning an agressive dog.

April 25th, 2007, 04:10 PM
im sorry for you and the little chi.....
i have two huskies and i thank god they dont have a high prey drive but its known trait in the breed
i enjoy the off leash park and i dont mind smaller dogs but there are some that i dont think some of them should be in the off leash park (Like really small toy breeds, they can get hurt even through normal play)
my citys dog parks have separate fenced areas for small dogs, unfortunately many dog owners dont use it which is fine, but when someone is yelling at larger dogs for playing then i think that they should use the separate areas

April 25th, 2007, 04:27 PM
Well...the bill is pretty big (to date...because im sure there are follow-ups to come). I just got the phone call from the vet. I know I can't afford it all.... and I asked my parents to help but they refuse to.... they are basically telling me to screw over the lady....but i dont have the heart to do that... I think I'll ask to put half on my credit card (even though half of the bill is still more than what I afford in reality). Im afraid the owner will turn around and make me pay the entire bill though...

April 25th, 2007, 05:27 PM
This is a real tough situation, Snowgrrl.
There is the moral aspect of this,.. doing the right thing .and then the legal obligations. I think it would be advisable to try and find out how you stand for the latter.

To walk away from financial responsiblity for injuries your dog inflicted on another would be heartless and unethical. :sad: i'm glad you are not taking your parents advice.:highfive:

The other owner is bound to traumatized right now, scared and worried for her little dogs prognosis.
When she has had a chance to assimilate all of this trauma, and realize that her lack of judgement played at least a "part' in this awful event...she might be agreeable to paying half.. or at least some. She might not... hard to say.

If her dog was on leash at the time... the burden would be entirely yours.

I feel it's not really fair that you are assessed the total expense.
Some things are entered into "at your own risk" :shrug: I dont know if a off- leash dog park meets this criteria, but I'm sure this type of incident has happened before.

Maybe just pay the half for now, and then see how things evolve. You are right... there's sure to be more costs associated with this,unfortunately.

Again, good luck to you.. and I do hope the little dog will be okay.:fingerscr :goodvibes:

April 25th, 2007, 05:50 PM
I agree with Shamrock. Also, is there any signs posted at the dog park stating conditions, responsibilities and legalities?

April 25th, 2007, 05:54 PM
do you have pet insurance??? most policies cover if your dog injures another dog.

April 25th, 2007, 06:56 PM
Ok... I paid half and I will talk to the lady that owns the little doggie later about the rest of it. Maybe I can pay another part later........ The receptionist at the vet was really nice and thanked me for coming in and paying a part of it. He reassured me and told me that this wasn't the first incident like this to happen..... I'm glad its over. Let this a lesson to be learnt for all. Unfortunately, I don't have pet insurance. I think that I will purchase pet insurance on my next trip to the vet though.. I think its a good idea for young dogs or newly adopted because they tend to get into more misschief than your long-time family doggie.

April 25th, 2007, 10:03 PM
Hi Snowgrrl.

Sorry that I joined this thread late, and sorry that you had to go through this! I wanted to tell you that I can relate exactly to how you are feeling right now. My dog bit another dog once - he was on his leash and the other dog wasn't. I pulled him away from the dog which I think made the injury worse than if I hadn't had pulled him. None of us present (including the owner of the other dog) realized how bad the injury was since the other dog didn't even yelp or anything and it wasn't till a few moments later we saw some blood. Turned out part of the poor guy's ear and skin was ripped! I was totally horrified!!!

The frantic owner of the other dog took him to the vet. He required an overnight stay in the hospital, medication, sedatives and stitches. I knew where the owner lived so went to knock on her door to check on him and exchange numbers. I offered to pay the bill and expressed my shock and sorrow at what my dog had done. It was the worst feeling in the world. While I waited, I was a mess and couldn't think of anything else. I was in tears.

I think you were right to offer to pay the bill. I wouldn't be surprised if its over $500 though. Good that you paid half already - see if there is a way you can work out some kind of payment for the other half. Maybe she will let you pay her back in installments when you get the money (explain your financial situation). Perhaps she will eventually cut you a break after everything dies down a bit.

Although you are wise to check out the bylaws, the legal outcome really depends on the other dog owner. In my case I was lucky that she forgave me /my dog and no hard feelings. She was pretty worried because her dog is old, and it was quite a shocking experience for both of us, but she understood that it was an accident and knew how upset and sorry I was.

So - the moral of the story is that you did all the right things. I think its generally best to offer to pay the vet bill up front just like you did and apologize. Sometimes that is all the other dog owner needs to hear anyways and after the shock of the incident wears off, it will all be okay.

I was lucky that the other dog recovered just fine - you have my prayers :pray: and wishes that the chiuahua recovers as well!!

BTW, once the dust settles, you will want to talk to a behaviourist and try to analyze what happened and how you can make sure it never happens again. I went through a real low period afterwards where I had lost all trust in my dog. Finally, I got going on major training and behaviour modification for my dog, and training for myself to be extremely vigilant - now I know how to detect a problem before it happens!

Good luck and keep us posted!!! Sending you moral support!!! :grouphug: