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Letter: Nelson's off leash dog park no longer safe to visit

To The Editor:

I am writing to alert dog loving Nelsonites that the off leash dog park by the lake is no longer safe to visit.

A few months ago my friends dog Scout was attacked by a vicious off lead dog and was severely injured.

After surgery, thankfully, Scout survived but he and his owner will no longer go to the beach walk. A week ago I took my two small dogs to the Lakeside Off Leash Park and Maxwell (Scouts brother) was attacked by an uncontrolled large dog and he was bit in the face. He has two bite marks on his face, one which was next to his eye.

(November 11) I went to the Dog Park with my dogs Angus and Max and we encountered an unleashed Pitbull who was poised in the predator position. I was a little nervous but the owner shouted “don’t worry he’s a good dog, don’t worry”.

Angus is a Yorkie mix who weighs about eight pounds and seconds later the pit bull had Angus in his mouth and dragged him to the brush while shaking him wildly.

There was a scramble to save Angus and I was tossed to the ground, injuring myself and breaking my glasses. Luckily my friend saved Angus from his death. My friend looked me in the eye and said “I thought he was dead for sure”.

The owner of the pit bull said Angus was aggressive and the pit bull was protecting himself and further that Angus should have been on a leash” In fact Angus was on leash but the Pit ripped him out of it. Both of my dogs are SO lucky to be alive. I am now faced with vet bills, personal injury and being bullied out of my favourite spots in Nelson.

As a dog owner I know that most people love their dogs and take good care of them, but do they train them, or take responsibility for the action of themselves and their dogs?

The rule of the dog park is that dogs are under the care and control of their owners and that owners must pick up after their dog.

Neither of these rules are being obeyed.

Brian Shields, Nelson BC

Letter originated at The Nelson Daily