Warning: This story contains graphic images.
As Billie Harlow just walks to the street where the dog attack happened south of Campbell River two weeks ago, she feels overwhelmed.
“I’m sorry. This is really hard for me,” she said between sobs.
Harlow still can’t walk down Wavecrest Road where, on Oct. 14, two dogs bounded out from a property and attacked her Spaniel named Carly.
A long-haired, possible German Shepard, grabbed Carly’s leg. Harlow kicked him away.
“But then the other dog went straight for her throat and so I wrapped my arms around her as tight as I could. He got my hand and he got her chest,” she said.
Harlow says she was screaming and it seemed like forever before a neighbour came out and hit the dog, convincing it to release its grip on Carly.
“Heard me screaming, finally. Thank God. My dog would have been dead, like, I wasn’t able to fight him off,” said Harlow.
After a BC Ambulance paramedic treated her and Carly, the same neighbour drove them to an emergency vet in Nanaimo where she received stiches. Harlow eventually got 13 stiches on her fractured hand.
Story continues below.
Harlow says she’s had little information about what’s happened to the dogs involved and she’s concerned for the community.
“I’m terrified for small children. [Do they] look like prey to this dog?” she said.
A woman at the home who was quite emotional declined to comment for the story and told chek NEWS to stay off her property Saturday. The owners of the two dogs live at different properties. The owner of the dog that bit Carly and Harlow has since paid the associated vet bills.
The Strathcona Regional District says it and Campbell River RCMP are actively investigating the dog attack and it can’t reveal much due to privacy rules.
“We are trying to determine at this time the best course of action to proceed, and the enforcement tools that we have available at this time,” said Aniko Nelson, the Strathcona Regional District’s senior manager of community services. Nelson says she’s confident the investigation by Animal Control Services has been thorough so far.
The Regional District’s area director says he too is concerned about public safety and is expecting to see a full report.
“This is actually the first test for our bylaw and our bylaw is quite old. It’s almost three decades, so this is going to give us the opportunity to take a look and see, is our bylaw effective?” said John Rice, the Strathcona Regional District’s Director for Area ‘D’.
Harlow says she just hopes measures will be taken to ensure the attack against her dog and her will be the last.
Story continues below
She also wanted to thank Dave the BC Ambulance paramedic for going well above expectations and her neighbours whom she had never met before but insisted on driving her and Carly to Nanaimo for the emergency surgery. Harlow said they waited and drove them home, arriving at 1 a.m. when both had to work the next day. She says they were both heroes that day.
In April, a dog attack that ended with fatal injuries for another dog in Port Alberni left that community on edge.