A woman is sounding the alarm about proper dog safety and training in public spaces after her little pup was mauled by another dog during a routine visit to the beach.
Jane*, his partner and his rescue dog, Elsa, were in Gozo when they decided to go to Daħlet il-Qorrot for a quick morning swim.
Everything seemed perfectly normal, but Jane had noticed a group of bull terriers being kept without leashes or collars by the sea. An animal lover by nature, she didn’t pay much attention to them, having worked with dogs for the last 15 years.
Unfortunately, things quickly turned sour. One of the bull terriers suddenly moved towards Jane and her dog while her partner was swimming.
She panicked and did her best to keep her dog out of the other’s reach. However, this was of no avail, with the dog proving far too strong amidst all the commotion. Elsa suffered serious bites on her body, especially on her legs.
“I was screaming as the bull terrier kept biting my dog, the dog even managed to push mine into a hole. It was terrifying and I thought my dog could be killed,” she said.
“I did my best, but I didn’t know what to do with everything that was happening. It is not in my nature to be violent towards dogs and the idea of attacking the dog aggressively did not occur to me, and I did not even know how he would react.
Worse still, Jane was shocked at the reaction of the owners, barely noticing the gruesome scene unfolding.
“When they came back and finally got the dog away, they were more interested in passing the blame on than dealing with the script.”
But Jane’s attentions were purely focused on her dog and they rushed to stop the bleeding and get her to a vet.
No authorities were called, particularly due to the lack of service in Gozitan Bay and because their only priority was to get their dog taken care of.
Elsa managed to have surgery and recovered physically, but Jane noticed a change in character in her dog.
“She’s terrified to even leave the house at this point. She’s so scared it’s completely changed her,” she said.
Jane hopes all will be well, but urged dog owners to be more responsible, especially when they have physically strong breeds and are around other people.
“Luckily Elsa is recovering, but it could be a lot worse next time,” she said.
*Names have been changed to protect individuals
What can be done to make dog owners more responsible?