A LOCAL woman is warning others to be cautious when walking their dogs after her pet was attacked by a loose dog.
The dog, possibly a Siberian husky, made no noise as it came up behind Lynne Christiansen and her Pomeranian Winnie on Sunset Dr. around 4 p.m. Jan. 6.
“It just grabbed her on the back of the neck,” said Christiansen, a city councillor. She had just left her parents’ place on Sunset – she walks her dog there so she can visit them – and was just outside the carport when the dog attacked.
“I was just grabbing fur at the back of his neck and just kicked and kicked him. He was not even too bothered by that and went on down Sunset,” said Christiansen, adding she called 911 right away but no one came.
Christiansen took her dog to vet Dr. David Farkvam to find out he had already gone home for the day and didn’t take after hours calls.
She knew already from a sign on the Skeena Animal Hospital that the city’s second vet, Dr. Tom Sager, didn’t take after hours calls.
Farkvam’s receptionist told her to watch her dog overnight and call back first thing the next morning. “I really barely slept,” Christiansen said, adding Winnie was “a bloody mess, breathing really pathetically.”
When she called Farkvam’s office the next day, she was told he was fully booked, and his office suggested calling the only vet in Kitimat. The Kitimat vet’s office said Winnie could be seen in a couple of days.
Fortunately, Christiansen was able to see Sager later that day. Winnie was stitched up and given antibiotics.
“There were some pretty deep puncture marks around her neck. The way he (the husky) was grabbing her, he could have snapped her neck,” she said.
“But it cost me $500 because some other person can’t keep their dog under control,” she said, adding it would be nice if the other dog’s owner would pay the vet bill.
“It’s alarming if a dog like that was running [wild]. What if it runs into a kid or goes after another dog?” said Christiansen.
Christiansen, a city councillor, does wonder why, after calling 911, a police officer didn’t respond given that the husky was on the loose.
And she’s hoping a vet who will soon be opening a third practice here will help ease a shortage of veterinary services.
“I think the vets here do the best they can. They have to have a life and can’t work day and night,” she said. “You don’t like to watch your pet suffer.”
Vet Tom Sager said dog attacks are common.
“It’s really important to report it because in the past there have been serious attacks with people torn up and they went to court and the judge would say it’s never happened before,” he said.
“A lot of this wouldn’t happen if people kept their dogs confined and if they’re not doing it, I wish there was some repercussion but the courts don’t seem to be helping,” said Sager.
As for a third vet here, Dr. Jatinger Kang from Vancouver is expected to open a practice here by mid February.