Running wild
Small dog attacked and killed while tied up in yard

by Richard Gleeson
Northern News Services

NNSL (Apr 23/97) - Large dogs running loose can present a danger to youngsters and adults alike. They can also break hearts, as the Chipman family found out Saturday afternoon.

Preparing to wash the kitchen floor of her Stinson Road home, Bev Chipman hitched the family dog, a black Pomeranian called Pepper, to a four-foot chain on their front lawn.

Though Pepper was 13 years old and blind in one eye, Bev had no reason to be concerned for the dog's safety. The small dog was tied in a fenced yard.

Neither precaution proved enough. Within 15 minutes of being left outside, Pepper was attacked and killed by another dog.

"I didn't hear anything," said Bev through her tears, still flowing two days after the event. "There was no sign of a struggle. I don't think she knew she was being attacked."

Pepper was found lying dead on the front lawn with a single large bite mark on her back and neck.

"She wasn't a normal dog," cried Bev. "She knew all kinds of tricks -- everyone around here knew her."

The Chipmans called both municipal enforcement and the managers of the Northlands trailer park.

Though both responded quickly, and with sympathy, it has left them asking questions about the effectiveness of animal control in the city.

Municipal enforcement manager Gil Cox said animal control is a duty each of the six bylaw officers carry out in the normal course of their duties.

"We're on the road from 7 a.m. to midnight," said Cox. "We've picked up dogs at all hours of the day and night."

He said the system allows for more thorough coverage than if there was only one officer devoted to animal control.

Cox said he has heard of only one or two other incidents of dogs being killed by other dogs in his seven years with the city.

Bev's husband, Wayne, and her uncle, Lorne Power, said they see dogs roaming loose in the area on a regular basis.

"A big dog came up the front steps and right into the kitchen last summer," said Wayne.

"We just want to keep the environment safe for kids and pets," he said. "We have nothing against big dogs, but they shouldn't be left to run loose."

Dog bylaws are enforced by hefty fines. The first time a dog is caught running loose the owner is fined $75.

A second offence in the same year and the cost doubles. The third time it's $300.

Bev called upon anyone seeing a large dog running loose in the Stinson Road area from 2:30 to 3 p.m. Saturday to contact the city.