A mother in Courtice, Ont., is urging dog owners to keep their pets on leashes after a dog allegedly bit her six-year-old son on Friday. The dog, and the people with it, she says, fled the scene shortly after.
“My son… was screaming for me,” said Krystle Small, who says she didn’t see the incident at the park near Dr. Emily Stowe Public School. “I ran over and saw his arm was full of blood, and he said that a dog had bit him.”
Small has been searching for the owner, or owners, of the dog since Friday, as Zander says the two people with the dog fled the scene after the incident. He has alopecia, an autoimmune disease, and she says she needs to find out if the dog has infections or diseases that could harm Zander.
“It’s strongly advised not to have the shots,” said Small after consulting Zander’s doctor about post-exposure vaccinations, “but, not knowing the dog’s history, it is potentially fatal.”
Zander describes the dog as black and medium-sized, answering to the name of Bella. He says the owner was a woman with a young, blond-haired boy he believes to be her son. Zander says they left toward Stuart Road. “The fact that she left was a little disappointing,” said Small.
Her son says the dog was off-leash, but every Durham municipality requires dogs to be on leashes at all times except on the owner’s property, at an off-leash dog park or with permission from another land owner for the dog to be without a leash.
Kevin Narraway, the manager of By-Law and Animal Services with the Town of Whitby, says owners need to choose the right leash for their dogs in order to safely take them to public spaces.
“Some dogs can do better on longer leashes,” said Narraway. “Some dogs need to be on shorter leashes so that they’re under more control with the owner. But certainly, children need to be supervised at all times as well, and parents should be keeping an eye on their kids.”
Small says during the incident, she was with her daughter, who had a dog nearly jump on her twice while she was trying to speak to its owner.
She says she hopes that the dog’s owner, or owners, will come forward and that all pet owners will learn from her story. “If it’s not a dog park, please… be courteous of others. Keep your dog on a leash.”