Concern over ‘bite-and-run’ dog attacks on the rise in Metro Van

Click to play video: 'Maple Ridge dog attack'
Maple Ridge dog attack
WATCH: A man from Maple Ridge has come forward saying he has been bitten by an aggressive dog. The owner in this case ran away without helping the victim. Julia Foy has the full story – Jun 25, 2016

A number of dog attacks in Metro Vancouver this month, where the owner of the attacker fled the scene, is concerning officials.

“It’s very concerning because its our goal to make good relations between dogs and people,” says Elaine Nelson of the Maple Ridge SPCA.

“If someone is involved in a dog attack, the best thing is to contact the SPCA as well as the RCMP to document everything, take photographs, as much information as they can possibly can.”

Her branch is looking into an incident in Maple Ridge on June 5. David Soderman was at a convenience store, buying lottery tickets, when he said he was attacked by a pit bull.

“He had me in his mouth, and he was shaking me…and then he dragged me,” said Soderman, who is angry that the owner didn’t stay on scene.

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“I called him an a**h***, whatever. And he goes I’m sorry, I’m sorry I’m sorry.”

Soderman was covered in blood from seven bites on his body. But despite the family posting notices asking for witnesses, so far the identity of the dog owner is unknown.

“You can have a child, an older person, anyone can be bit by a vicious dog, and a dog owner [can] flee away,” says Lyne Couture, Soderman’s partner.

Soderman chose to speak out after seeing Global News’ stories on a Surrey woman who was viciously attacked by a pit bull outside a convenience store.

READ MORE: Pit bull that attacked woman in Surrey killed by Animal Control

But just a day after that dog was put down, there was another high-profile animal attack – this time in Vancouver.

Blood still stains the sidewalk on Fraser Street and 56th Avenue, where the attack happened at 4 p.m. on Friday. The dog lunged at a pedestrian, biting an arm, let and her face.

As bystanders rushed to help the woman, the dog headed a half block west, and attacked a second person.

“He attacked me very badly,” said Sushil Randev, who says he only escaped serious injury because the dog went for his shoes, which were extremely thick.

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“Then the dog was so angry, he was likely to tear me. I was lucky to escape. A very narrow escape.”

The dog’s owner appeared seconds after Randev was attacked, and hauled the animal inside her home.

The City of Vancouver says the dog has not been seized by Animal Control, but they’re still gathering statements from witnesses.

As for Soderman? He says he’s out $5,000 after he was off work for two weeks, and has over $500 in medical bills. But his main concern is getting the public to help find the dog and it’s owner, before anyone else gets hurt.

“They will do it again. And if it’s a kid, they’re probably dead.”

– With files from Julia Foy and Jordan Armstrong

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