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Edmonton woman questions neighbourhood safety after dog-on-dog attack

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Edmonton woman questions neighbourhood safety after dog-on-dog attack
WATCH: Just days after her dog was attacked by another dog, a southeast Edmonton woman is speaking out. Albert Delitala explains – May 4, 2019

A southeast Edmonton woman believes more can be done to protect neighbourhood safety after she said her dog was attacked by another dog.

Vicki Romanick was getting ready for bed on Saturday, April 27 at her home in The Meadows neighbourhood when something caught her eye.

“I noticed a black dog running, and I noticed when it was running that it was not going to be very good,” Romanick said.

She said the dog, described as a pit bull mix weighing between 80 and 90 pounds, forced its way into her backyard before attacking her much smaller dog, a pug-papillon mix named Hemi.

A security camera caught the aftermath of the incident, as Romanick and her husband ran out to help. The video shows her dog run back to the house, followed by Romanick. Meanwhile, her husband confronted the man and woman with the other dog, who left soon afterward.

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A week after the attack, cuts and gashes cover much of Hemi’s body. A tube drains excess fluids.

According to Romanick, the fence behind the row of homes where she lives doesn’t offer enough protection from the approximately 30 dogs that pass each day on their way to the nearby Larkspur Pipeline Corridor off-leash area.

“I cannot have my grandkids out here, even when I am out here,” Romanick said. “I cannot bring my dog out here, and every time I bring my dog out here and it does its business, I know that a dog can get in my yard and attack him.”

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Between Jan. 1 and April 8, 2019, according to Edmonton Animal Care and Control, there were 107 reported dog-on-dog attacks in the city. Of those, about 12 per cent involved a dog growling or snarling at another canine, but not biting the animal. About 21 per cent involved a dog biting another dog.

Less than two per cent of the attacks resulted in severe injury to the other animal, while none have resulted in death.

“Dog-on-dog attacks do happen on occasion in the city. It’s unfortunate, but they do happen,” said Josh Bonogofski, an acting sergeant with Animal Care and Control.

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“But this instance, where a dog broke through a fence and went into someone else’s yard that’s enclosed, that’s rare.”

Bonogofski said the biggest contributor to dogs attacking other dogs is when one of the animals is not on a leash. He encourages pet owners to be responsible and keep their dogs on leashes where they need to be. Even in off-leash areas, pet owners are responsible for maintaining control of their animal, Bonogofski said.

He said the file into this specific case remains. Anyone who may have witnessed the attack is asked to call 311 to speak to Animal Care and Control.

City councillor Moe Banga wants to see official, fenced off-leash dog parks built in Ward 12, an amenity that doesn’t currently exist in the area.

“These things are not normal,” Banga said. “We want to make sure that they don’t happen again.”

Back at the house, Hemi remains on the mend. Romanick said she doesn’t want money, but instead wants the owners of the dog that hurt hers to take responsibility.

“Obviously they’re not responsible pet owners and they need to be taught that you can’t be doing this.”

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