Dog attack on off leash trail leads to death

Christine Wood/Staff Writer / Staff writer
January 11, 2013 01:00 AM

Dana Urbanski clutches her surviving pomeranian Hondo on the Kinnikinnick trail where her other pomeranian Pepper was attacked by two dogs on Jan. 5. Pepper died shortly after the attack due to his extensive injuries.

The District of Sechelt wants more information about a disturbing dog attack that left Dana Urbanski's five-year-old Pomeranian Pepper with broken ribs and deep puncture wounds. On the way to the vet, the small dog died of its extensive injuries.

Urbanski was walking with her Pomeranians Pepper and Hondo in the off-leash Kinnikinnick trails last Saturday, Jan. 5, between 3 and 3:30 p.m. She was travelling along the red trail with her dogs ahead of her when she spotted another dog walker on the nearby pink trail.

"I was ahead of him and he was behind me and I asked if his dogs were safe with little dogs," Urbanski said, adding the man had two "medium-large" sized dogs, one blonde and one grey. "He assured me everything was fine, but I didn't trust the dogs, so I tried to get to my dogs quickly. He was just a little bit behind me and, of course, the dogs had already run ahead and already were doing the damage because I could hear my dog yelping for life and I said 'do something.' I said 'run' but he didn't even seem to care."

Once Urbanski made it to her dogs she saw that Pepper lay bleeding to death and Hondo, Pepper's father, was nowhere to be seen. The two attacking dogs were also absent.

"I pleaded for him to help me, but he had no response," Urbanski remembered.

She quickly picked up Pepper in case the dogs returned.

Soon Hondo emerged from the bush and Urbanski picked him up as well to save him from another attack, as the other dogs were still loose in the bush.

She was near the trail's end and started quickly toward her vehicle. Once there she struggled to get her keys from her pocket while balancing her two pets.

"I asked [the other dog owner] to please help me get the keys because his dogs were still loose and I didn't want to put my dogs down," Urbanski said. "I was pleading with him beside the car. I said, 'please help me, help me, help me.' I waited a few minutes, but then I lost hope. I thought, 'this idiot isn't going to help me,' so I put Hondo on top of my Jeep and got my keys and put both of my dogs inside. I asked for his name and number and he just said, 'I'm not from around here' and walked off down the road."

While on the way to the Sechelt Animal Hospital, Pepper took his last breath.

"It was the absolute worst experience of my life here. I am still grieving," Urbanski said.

She reported the attack to Sunshine Coast RCMP and the District of Sechelt, which is responsible for the off-leash trails.

Sechelt's bylaw officer Bruce Haynes said he's been investigating the incident, but needs someone to come forward with more information to possibly press charges or impose a fine on the dog owner.

Because of the speed of the attack and the emotions involved, Urbanski was unable to provide a clear physical description of the man, but Haynes believes the man's dogs may have been involved in other incidents on the Kinnikinnick trails.

"He indicated to her that he wasn't from the Coast, that he was just visiting, but we have some indication from looking on Facebook that this has happened before with these same dogs, so we're just trying to get it out in the public to see if we can get some people responding to that and giving us more information," Haynes said.

"That's why I was hoping you'd put something in the paper so that we might get some feedback from people who might know these dogs or know the people. At this stage we don't know who it is."

Haynes said the lack of assistance offered by the dog owner is particularly disturbing.

"Things do happen, but I was just really upset with the lack of concern that he had and that he didn't help the lady at all, he just more or less left her on her own to deal with this and didn't seem to take much interest in what was going on, which surprised me," Haynes said.

Although the story from Urbanski sounds quite damning, Haynes would like to speak with the dog owner to get his side of the story.

"There's always two sides to every story," he said.

Over the past four years, there have been two other incidents of dogs being attacked and killed on the Kinnikinnick trails, according to Haynes.

"I think for the most part people are very aware of their dogs and although three [deaths] to me seems like a lot, when you think about the number of dogs that are in that park, for the most part people are very aware of what their dogs are doing. But you do get the odd person that just doesn't get it, and so those are the ones we're concerned about," he said.

If you have any information about the attack you are asked to call Haynes at 604-885-1986.


© Coast Reporter

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