Tom Kuppers will be carrying dog repellent from now on after being mauled by two pit bulls and getting 19 stitches in his right arm last Sunday.
Kuppers was attacked outside The Dollar Store on Willowbrook Drive in Langley even though the dogs were tied to a mountain bike.
“I said ‘Hi pups’ and that’s all it took,” Kuppers told Global News.
“The both lunged at me. I tried to push them away and that’s when the big one got my arm. I think I must have yanked it out of its mouth and I threw my bag at them and ran back into the store.”
Once Kuppers was back inside he found the owner of the dogs, who apologized and then left.
“I told him to do the right thing and stay… that you need to answer for this,” Kuppers says.
“[The owner] turned around and left the store and got his dogs and left.”
Langley RCMP Cpl Holly Marks says “they’re working now with the victim and making attempts to identify the suspect and following up on possible charges.”
Kuppers says the incident could have been worse. At six feet five inches tall and weighing 250 pounds he shudders to think if it had been his wife or young grandchildren in front of these dogs.
“I didn’t expect this would even happen to me,” he says.
“I thought man, if you were small they’d be right in your face. They just kept coming… they dragged that bike down the sidewalk and I finally threw a bag at them and ran back in the store.”
This was the second incident on the same day involving a pit bull breed. In Saanich, a pit bull-Rottweiler cross mauled the family’s 16-day-old girl. The dog, which was 17 years old, was later euthanized.
Kuppers hopes the owner of the dogs will come forward and take responsibility for the incident.
“I’ll carry dog repellent with me for the next little while because this really sets me back,” he says.
“The recovery is painful, the experience is painful.”