Toronto dog owner Toni Baxter is warning residents and visitors frequenting Woodbine Beach in the city’s east-end to be on the lookout for an aggressive pit bull after she and her pet were randomly attacked on the weekend.
Baxter said she was approached by the pit bull’s owner while walking on the boardwalk and claims he insinuated for the two dogs to fight.
“He said that his dog isn’t scared of anything and I was sort of like, ‘Pardon me?’,” she said. “Before I knew it, before he could repeat himself, this dog was going at my dog.”
Not only was her pit bull mastiff mix Gucci bitten, the other dog lunged at her as well and bit her on the right leg, Baxter said.
“The man didn’t bother to pull his dog or anything. The dog bit me on my leg and went to attack my dog again,” said Baxter, who required a tetanus shot after the incident.
“It most definitely was intended. I don’t know what he saw in my dog. He just wanted his dog to do something to mine.”
Baxter said she reported the incident to police and authorities are seeking to speak with the other dog owner.
“The concern right now is the safety of the woman who was bitten and the dog that was bit as well as anyone else who might encounter this dog,” said Toronto police Const. Victor Kwong.
“The owner has to be in control. There is a provincial act that says animal owners must be in control of their domesticated pet.”
Ontario banned pit bull ownership province wide in a 2005 amendment to the Dog Owners Liability Act.
The ban made it mandatory for all pit bulls already in the province to be spayed or neutered, and leashed and muzzled in public.
The goal was to remove pit bulls from the province altogether by preventing them from breeding, and to keep new pit bulls out of Ontario.
But despite the law, pit bull ownership is still prevalent in Ontario.
Toronto police say the dog attack warrants an investigation to see whether there was any criminal intent on behalf of the pit bull owner.
“The criminal element to this would be looked at. Did someone actually overtly let loose the dog to attack? Is there any step they didn’t take to prevent something from happening,” explained Kwong.
Baxter said she is making her story public in order to prevent others from getting injured by the same animal.
“I don’t know why people are doing this to their dog. It’s not fair to the dog. It’s not fair to anybody on the beach,” she said.
“There’s families here and I was very concerned. I could have been a child. I could have been an elderly person.”
-With a file from The Canadian Press