A woman is warning the public to be on their guard, after her pet was savagely attacked by an off-leash dog on Richmond’s Middle Arm Dike Trail.
Erin Shigeoka said “it’s a miracle” that Oreo - her little six-year-old shih tzu-Pomeranian – survived the attack by a German shepherd, close to Terra Nova Adventure Park.
Shigeoka told the Richmond News how she’d just come out of the public washroom on the dike on Dec. 20, around 3 p.m., when the German shepherd appeared and pounced on Oreo.
She said the dog first grabbed Oreo by the head and then had him by the neck, “shaking him like a doll” for what she said “felt like forever.”
“I was screaming. The dog’s owner fell when he tried to run to stop his dog attacking,” Shigeoka recalled.
“I don’t know what he did to get his dog to release. I just thought Oreo was dead. I picked him up and he was shaking.”
As the German shepherd’s owner took his dog back to his car, Shigeoka heard him say “you’ve got to stop doing this.”
“He’s clearly done it several times before. He got out his car and told me he’s 60 years old and that he hurt his knee in the fall. Like that was the most important thing. I’m not sure if I was supposed to feel sorry for him.”
Shigeoka said the man considered giving her his phone number, but then said that Oreo looked OK, before driving off in a small, blue or purple car.
“I was more concerned about Oreo at the time to be honest,” added Shigeoka, who lives in Delta, but visits the area often to pick up her daughter at her City of Richmond workplace.
With the help of a woman who stopped her car to help, Shigeoka took Oreo to a nearby vet, where it was discovered that he had next to no visible injuries.
“The vet gave him a real good check-over and said if it wasn’t for Oreo’s sweater and harness, he would likely be dead,” she said.
“When we got home, we noticed he was sore and we heard a pop, so maybe a rib injury? I think he dreams about and sometimes he flares up with anger for no reason.”
Shigeoka said she wanted to thank the lady who helped calm her down and for people to be careful around the German shepherd.
“This dog is clearly dangerous and needs to be muzzled.”
She has contacted the SPCA and is going to contact the City of Richmond’s bylaws department, in case they already have a file on the dog.