A pet is dead and a family is devastated after a brutal attack by a large unleashed dog on a small leashed Chihuahua Wednesday night.
Lynn Pearce says her son Carl took the dog named Charley for a walk around 10:30 last night on Delaware St. in the city's north end, then down Hillcrest Ave., where a dog running loose, described by Pearce as "bigger than a golden retriever" ran across the road and violently attacked.
"My son fought the dog off," a tearful Pearce told BayToday."He then attacked again and my son fought it off. And then the owner came out and tried to beat up my son.
"They got away. The dog was really hurt and both were covered in blood," she says.
911 was called.
"I called 911 and the dispatcher didn't know when police could come as they were all busy! When an officer finally showed up....they spoke to the dog owner and told my son...' nothing they can do!! They can't charge a dog.'"
Pearce called the on-call emergency vet Dr. Bertrand, who tried to save the dog's life.
"They did X-rays and everything possible. It cost us $650."
The vet said the dog was in such bad shape it needed to go to Mississauga for surgery to repair the damage. Pearce says the cost for that would be $10,000.
"We don't have that kind of money so the vet said she would stabilize the dog and send him home for the night, so stay up with him, keep an eye on him and if there are any changes, bring him back."
This morning, they called the family vet at the Callander Animal Hospital and were told they would do the surgery they felt comfortable doing. and would do the best they could. Charley was rushed in at 9:30 and the exploratory surgery started around noon.
"The damage was just too bad, they couldn't save him.
"There was no way. His lungs were contaminated, the skin was torn off his chest wall, There was major damage, torn muscles, dislocated ribs,"
Nothing further could be done. There was no hope. Charley was put down.
Pearce faced an additional $775 bill for the Callander vet services, including cremation.
Additionally, Pearce's son Carl was taken to the hospital by police.
"He was bitten on the lip and bitten on his head. What if it had been a child this dog attacked! And nobody will do anything about it."
BayToday contacted North Bay police.
"If a dog attacks a person, charges can be laid under the Dog Owner Liability Act. (DOLA) In this case, charges have not yet been laid because the incident is still under investigation," Communications Officer David Woolley said by email, but provided no further details.
The Act states that the owner of a dog is liable for damages resulting from a bite or attack by the dog on another person or domestic animal. It also says that the dog owner shall exercise reasonable precautions to prevent it from biting or attacking.
But Pearce said she believes police talked with the owner last night "They came back and told Carl they can't do anything, that they can't charge a dog."
Desperate for help, she tried to call the city's bylaw officer but got no response. BayToday emailed bylaw officer Ron Melnyk.
"With regards to the dog bite/attack, it has been investigated by NBPS as they enforce the DOLA legislation. The Humane Society is contracted by the City to conduct animal bylaw enforcement which in this case would include the dog being off-leash while on public property. I don’t know if that is what took place or not, but that is something that they would investigate and if necessary issue a charge."
She says the Humane Society has promised to talk to the owner but was told they can't charge him.
"So this big dog attacks a little innocent dog, walking with its owner, and nothing happens to them. That's not fair."
Pearce describes eight-year-old Charley as "very friendly" and a "very loving dog, super friendly." It is owned by Car's best friend, but she and the dog are considered part of the family.
Charley was frightened by children, but loved people.
Pearce describes herself as an animal lover with another dog and two cats, but is terribly disappointed by the reaction of authorities.
"I'm so angry and upset. And I just want to scream at the world."
In an exasperated voice, she cried, "This is just not fair!"