A family in the Town of Olds, Alta., is devastated after their dog was attacked and killed in their own backyard on Aug. 3.
RCMP were called to a home in Imperial Estates at around 7 p.m. after four pitbulls escaped a yard. They allegedly travelled several blocks to another house with a fenced yard, where a small dog was killed.
“The fence was a four-foot fence,” said Doug Wagstaff, from Olds community services, on Wednesday. “Either they had jumped the fence or they had pushed through the fence. It was a mesh wire fence built of aluminum and the poles were bent actually at the gate so the dogs accessed right through the gate pushing through.”
Wagstaff said the families who own the dogs involved are obviously upset and the community is reeling.
“The community as a whole is quite upset, to have that kind of privacy violated in your own backyard where you feel safe and secure,” Wagstaff said.
In a Facebook post, the owner of the dog who was killed wrote: “Our beloved family pet, Jake, passed away last night. Three dogs broke into our dog run and killed Jake, while a fourth dog watched. Owner Lindsay Walsh, [the owner of] Alberta XL Bullies, had no control over all four of his dogs, and his girlfriend was attacked and received hospital care. RCMP were called.”
Global News reached out to Walsh, who said he was heartbroken and sorry about what happened. He explained his dogs are normally confined behind two gates and a high fence. In a statement to Global News, Walsh wrote:
“Sadly, without my knowledge, one of [the] gates was opened and Samson, as well as my three other dogs, were let out,” he said.
“While I can’t take back what happened, I would like to confirm that arrangements have been made to euthanize my family dog, Samson, to ensure that this never happens again… This is a very sad time for both of the families involved and I am hopeful that at some point I can earn forgiveness for the actions of Samson.”
Although this isn’t the first time Walsh’s dogs were at large in Olds, they never showed signs of aggression before, Wagstaff said
“They were showing no signs of aggression and had been reprimanded by the municipal enforcement, taken to a vet clinic and both the vet clinic and the community peace officer indicated there had been no signs of aggression that they were able to prove at that point,” Wagstaff said.
Officials continue to investigate what happened and if the other dogs are a threat.
The town is also looking at new bylaws to prevent something like this from happening again.
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