Editor’s note: This story has been updated to correct the dog breed, previously reported as pit bull – mastiffs in appearance, to American bulldogs.
Three adults were taken to hospital early Saturday morning after a group of dogs attacked them in a Winnipeg motel parking lot.
Winnipeg police say around 12:30 a.m., officers were called to the Capri Motel on Pembina Highway after the four dogs turned on the three people, including the owner.
Police say the dogs, later determined to be American bulldogs, attacked and “terrorized” numerous people in the motel parking lot before leaving the area.
Const. Rob Carver said bystanders tried to intervene but were chased away by the dogs.
“These people were being viciously attacked so I think people were trying to go out and maybe help them but then were being chased back into units by the dogs,” Carver told reporters Saturday.
Thirteen police units were called, including two K-9 units and the tactical support team.
Two of the dogs were found in adjacent neighbourhoods and Carver said officers made the difficult decision to put them down.
“You can’t have dogs of this nature running around in a neighbourhood,” Carver said. “We’re actually lucky no one got killed last night.”
A third dog and a puppy were hit by a vehicle on Pembina Highway.
They are now in the care of City of Winnipeg Animal Services.
“The one adult is in the cage and very scared. The puppy is acting like a puppy. I’m not sure the puppy would have been involved in something like this, it’s really young. Of all of the dogs that we have, including the deceased dogs, none appear to be spay and neutered, none appear to be licensed,” Leland Gordon COO of the City of Winnipeg Animal Services.
Police say two of the victims are men and they sustained severe life-altering injuries and remain in hospital.
Carver says the injuries were all over the victims’ bodies.
“These are really, really, really serious injuries,” Carver said.
Devin Wasnik was staying at the motel on Saturday when he heard the screaming and barking coming from outside his room.
“I jumped in my car and I tried to run one over and split them up. I took my bat, my ice fishing bat, and was swinging and hitting these dogs at full force with no reaction,” he said.
Wasnik says he helped the owner of the dogs get to safety when he let him into the SUV.
“It was incredibly chaotic — like it was a horror scene.”
Blood still can be seen staining the snow in the parking lot of the motel.
One of the other witnesses Charity called police but didn’t feel safe leaving her hotel room to intervene.
Carver says the owner of the four dogs was the most severely injured and he may be facing criminal charges and bylaw offences.