A visually impaired Calgarian is recovering from an attack by an unleashed pit bull that injured both him and his guide dog.
It happened last Wednesday as Trevor Fitzhenry was walking his dog, Neptune, in Forest Lawn.
“He had his jaws right on his neck, on Neptune’s neck,” said Fitzhenry. “I was thinking, ‘I am going to lose my dog. My dog is going to die here on me.’”
Fitzhenry couldn’t actually see the attack; he has been blind for 15 years.
“It’s just crazy because Neptune is my lifeline, he’s my eyes,” he told Global News. “I was just horrified seeing another dog attack your seeing-eye dog; it was just horrifying.”
The dogs were eventually separated, but not before Neptune was bitten on the face and paws. Fitzhenry required stitches to his hand.
“I was horrified, I was screaming. I was yelling for someone to come help separate these two dogs and it just wasn’t working.”
The dog’s owner has since been fined and has paid Neptune’s vet bill but Fitzhenry is worried the dog will attack again.
“I know how dogs are …. but when you’re walking with a working dog you never actually think about another dog coming out and attacking your working dog. You just never think about that.”
The city did not apprehend the attacking dog in this case because an aggressive dog can only be taken into custody if it kills another dog or wounds a person more severely than what is called a’ level three’ bite.
“It would have to be a 3.5,” explains Damien Cole of Animal and Bylaw Services. “(That level) is multiple level three bites on a child or a level four bite which is an attack where the dog has slashed or shaken the victim with its head. “
The pit bull’s owner was not available for comment.
Fitzhenry’s mother says Animal and Bylaw Services should take further action.
“It just seems just because he was blind, ‘oh well, that’s just the way it goes,’” said Leona Kirk. “ It’s a working dog. If it was anybody else’s working dog, a police working dog, there sure would be action.”
Neptune won’t be able to guide Fitzhenry for the next few weeks as the cone on his head prevents him from wearing his harness.
With files from Carolyn Kury de Castillo