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Man injured during Auburn Bay dog attack speaks as pit bull owner faces 18 charges

WARNING: This article contains details that some people might find disturbing.

The owner of two large dogs that attacked several other dogs — one fatally — in southeast Calgary in February is facing 18 city bylaw charges.

The city said the two large dogs are pit bulls.

The owners of a dog that was injured in the February attack say the terrifying incident never should have happened.

Joey is an Australian Shepard with endless energy but his owners say he’s changed since he was viciously attacked by two dogs on Feb. 25.

“They just went after Joey and grabbed him by the neck,” said Greg, who declined to give his last name due to concerns for his family’s safety.

Greg was walking Joey in Auburn Bay when he says two unleashed pit bull cross dogs that appeared to have escaped from their yard rushed toward them.

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Greg fought back but the dogs weren’t giving up.

Greg was bitten a number of times, saved, in part, by his thick gloves and heavy jacket that were punctured.

He says it took the help of a Good Samaritan to help him punch the dogs and end the attack.

“He’s our boy. We’re so thankful to the passerby who jumped out of his car bare-fisted and joined in,” said Jennifer, Greg’s wife.

The attacking dogs then turned their attention on a Pomeranian being walked by an elderly woman and killed it.

Click to play video: 'Charges laid in fatal Calgary dog attack'

Charges laid in fatal Calgary dog attack

“The problems are severe. People are being killed. Dogs are being killed. Like, they snapped the neck of the Pomeranian with no provocation. They went to Joey’s neck with zero provocation,” Jennifer said.

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The owner is now facing 18 charges, including two counts of animal at large, two counts of severe injury to an animal, two counts of cause damage to an animal, two counts of severe injury to an animal, two counts of cause damage to an animal, two counts of chase threat to a person, two counts of bite a person, two counts of unlicensed animals, one count of animal cause death, and one count of chase threat.

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The dog are still in custody as a dangerous dog designation is being sought.

“It’s totally unnecessary. If you’re going to have dogs, large breed dogs, you need to have them secured behind fence and make sure your gates are closed. There’s just no reason for them to be running loose,” Greg said.

Calgary’s Responsible Pet Ownership (RPO) Bylaw passed during the regular meeting of city council on June 2 and went into effect on Jan. 1, 2022.

The proposed changes allow the chief bylaw officer to determine when a pet is considered “vicious,” a designation currently determined in court. “Nuisance” designations have also been expanded.

Click to play video: '11-year-old boy dies at south Edmonton home where other dog attacks recently occurred'

11-year-old boy dies at south Edmonton home where other dog attacks recently occurred

Jennifer encouraging people to contact politicians to make changes.

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“This should never have happened. We were a block from our home. We should be safe in our own neighborhood. We can’t be reactive about these situations and waiting for dogs to kill or attack another animal or kill or attack a human being. We have to be proactive. Whatever is happening, it’s not working,”

A survey done by the city when making changes to the pet bylaw showed that measures to reduce bite incidents focused on addressing problems with nuisance behaviour are largely supported and breed-specific legislation is discouraged.

A gofundme has been set up by neighbours in Auburn Bay to help Greg and Jennifer pay for vet bills.

“If people are appalled or scared by the story of a senior who was killed while she was gardening or the woman whose dog was killed seven minutes after ours was attacked —  if these stories upset you —  the little boy in Edmonton — something more has to be done and it’s not just about educating and training and that sort of thing, it’s beyond that,” Jennifer said.

“I don’t know how effective they are. I don’t know what the answer is, but the answer is definitely to rally our politicians to make some changes.”

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