A Surrey woman is appealing to dog owners to be responsible in public, after her own dog was mauled to death by an off-leash dog in Sullivan Park last week.
Anita Uppal said she arrived at the 6272 152 St. park June 18 with her niece and three dogs – two Lhasa Apso-poodle crosses and Bella, a Havanese-shih tzu cross – when the attack occurred.
Uppal, 41, said she took Bella’s leash off to take a photograph of the recently groomed four-year-old, and Bella was busy sniffing around the base of a tree when Uppal spotted a Rottweiler and a golden retriever bee-lining for her.
The Rottweiler “grabbed her by the back of her neck, kind of shook her and smashed her down. Killed her instantly, broke her neck,” Uppal said. “There was no owners, there was nobody present. The couple came about 20 seconds later.”
Uppal said City of Surrey animal control officers are involved, and that the Rottweiler owner called her the next morning to apologize for what had happened. The woman insisted that her dog was friendly, Uppal said.
“Big dogs, they may be nice to their family and their owners, but they’re still animals. They have that predatory instinct,” she said.
“That dog went right for (Bella’s) neck.”
City of Surrey officials were not available to comment by Peace Arch News‘ press deadline Monday afternoon.
Uppal said the incident traumatized her niece and has devastated her 19-year-old daughter, who is deaf and had taught Bella to understand some sign language.
But unless owners take steps to ensure they have control of their dogs, it will only happen again, she said.
“If that dog was on a leash and the owners were responsible, it wouldn’t have happened,” she said. “I don’t think it’s the dog’s fault.
“I just want people to be aware. This is going to happen again.”