‘Worst nightmares’: Fatal dog attack in Port Alberni has neighbours worried


The SPCA is investigating after two dogs fatally attacked another dog in Port Alberni.

The owners of the canine that died and neighbours say the dogs have frightened others in the neighbourhood. Now, they’re worried it could happen again, and the next victim could be a child.

Melissa Campbell and TJ MacDonald are still reeling from their 10-year-old Daschund’s death following the vicious attack.

“It was just panic and terror and all my worst nightmares coming true at once,” Campbell told CHEK News.

“I went to scoop him up right here, and the dog ripped him out of my hands,” said MacDonald.

It was the evening of March 20 when MacDonald was walking Zuko out to the sidewalk, still on their David Street property, when one dog and then a second from a neighbouring property attacked.

“We got the one dog off. The other dog came and grabbed him again, and then we fought that dog off, and then the first dog came back and got him a third time,” said MacDonald.

They rushed Zuko to an emergency veterinarian in Nanaimo, but they had to put him down three days later. They reported the attack.

“To kill our dog and bite both of us in the attack, we assumed that the dogs at least would be taken from the owners evaluated and see if they could be rehomed or rehabilitated,” said Campbell.

Investigation underway

The BC SPCA confirms it is investigating the dog attack on behalf of the City of Port Alberni, though what’s involved hasn’t been outlined.

“It’s always distressing to the community when an incident of this nature happens. I believe while the investigation is going on, they are deemed dangerous dogs, and there are certain items the owners have to follow,” said Mike Fox, Port Alberni’s chief administrative officer.

One of the dog’s owners invited CHEK News to see their pitbull and labrador, and she says they behave great with their three children.

“Feeling pretty upset. We know how it is as dog owners and how much you love your dogs,” said Chey Jones, Jax and Remy’s owner.

Jones says she and her family were on vacation when the dogs got away from a roommate who was caring for them.

“We’ve paid Zuko’s vet bill, which was over $12,000. We’ve apologized, trying to make it right. We’ve been taking all the precautions,” said Jones.

“We’ve been dealing with SPCA and cooperating with them. We have muzzles for them. We’ve put up gates at all the entrances. We’re trying our hardest to prevent this from ever happening again.”

But that’s exactly what other neighbours fear, saying the dogs have been loose and threatening in the past. They worry the next victim won’t be a dog like Zuko but a child.

RELATED: Last year, two dog owners were charged under a Calgary bylaw after an 86-year-old woman killed

Kendall HansonKendall Hanson

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