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Tuesday, January 06, 2004

Winslow Park Dog Warning

To the Editor:

I am writing about this incident for two reasons:  A warning to dogs owners to be very careful at Winslow Park, and Id like information about the owner of the dog that attacked mine.

I often go to Winslow Park with my two dogs, small terriers that weigh 20 pounds each, and are both elderly—the male is 11 years old and the female is 14 years old.  I arrived there on Friday, Jan. 2, 2004, at about 4 p.m. It was pretty busy, with a lot of dogs running around and playing. 

My male dog, who is neutered, nevertheless tries to mount many dogs, most of whom are larger than he is, and generally succeeds only to the extent of grabbing their back leg. He did this to a black lab named Boone, who turned around and attacked him.

My dog screamed in pain, and then ran off very quickly. I ran after him, and with the help of some nice people was able to catch him. His ear was badly ripped and I could see it would need stitches; he also had some wounds around his eye. 

I walked quickly to my car, but stopped near the area where he had been bitten to try to talk to the owner. I asked a few people if they knew where she was, and was told her left the park. No one I spoke to knew her name or where she lived. 

At that point my concern was with my dog and I left and drove straight to the vet, where he had to be anesthetized, sutured, and stay the night.

He is now home with a wound drain in his ear, and is on pain medication and antibiotics and will require two more visits to the vet to treat the wounds. 

He had to have another rabies shot, as I did not know the vaccination status of the dog that bit him, because his owner was too irresponsible to wait to find out what happened. The cost for his treatment was $515. 

Aside from the expense, both my husband and I (and our dog) suffered a great deal of stress related to this incident, that could have been lessened had the owner acted responsibly. I think this is disgraceful behavior. 

I hope that if anyone knows who the owner of this dog is, that person will contact me and give me the persons name.  I will report the incident to the Westport dog warden on Monday.

I know Winslow Park can be dangerous, I remember when a dog was killed there about six years ago (a Jack Russell terrier was attacked by a German shepherd mix, the owner in that case also left without helping in any way). 

I hope all dog owners are very careful when they go there to make sure their animals are safe. I would also hope that owners would be responsible for any actions of their pets. It is only in that way that we can all feel safe there.

Janet Welch
Westport

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Posted 01/06/04 at 06:17 PM  Permalink



Comments

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As a fellow dog owner, I feel sorry for the pain the dog and its owner is in, but at the same time I feel that this owner is the one that is irresponsible for allowing their dog to run free since it has a habit of mounting other dogs.

The other dog was defending itself from unwelcome advances. It should be no surprise the dog defended itself.

Posted by Ed on January 14, 2004 at 03:50 AM | #
 

As much as I, too, feel bad for what Ms. Welch’s elderly terrier had to go through, it was HER dog who provoked the fight by mounting the other dog. Mounting is not simply a sexual behavior. Any dog trainer can tell you that mounting is a sign of dominance, and her terrier advancing and mounting a strange dog to claim he was “alpha”... no wonder the Lab turned around to reprimand him! Ms. Welch, knowing that her dog is an alpha who mounts other dogs, should NOT have her dog at a park like that, unleashed and unrestrainted. The “disgraceful behavior” of the Lab “Boone” was NOT disgraceful—it was her terrier that provoked the incident and Boone was simply telling him to “back off!”!

Ms. Welch unfortunately learned an expensive lesson, and at the expense of her elderly dog. And that lesson is that dog parks are for friendly, non-aggressive, non-alpha and socialized dogs. She should not subject other dogs and owners to her terrier’s “Trying to mount other dogs or grabbing their back legs”. I’m surprised her terrier hasn’t been attacked before this.

Ms. Welch, please don’t blame this incident on the Lab “Boone”. Your dog provoked it, and he paid the price. I am sorry it happened, but nevertheless, you, as the owner of the offending dog, is responsible!!

Posted by Jen on January 15, 2004 at 02:55 PM | #
 

I have been reading, and been a fan of WESTPORT NOW since the beginning. I enjoy watching it grow. However, the print seems to be getting smaller and smaller. I now need my glasses to read it, and I still have to squint! I hope you can figure out a way to make the print size larger. Claire Ford

Posted by Claire Ford on January 19, 2004 at 03:33 PM | #