A Wallaceburg, Ont. couple says a dog attack that sent a three-year-old boy to hospital with wounds to his face and leg could have been prevented if officials had taken the death of their pet seriously.
On Monday, two dogs attacked a young child and his babysitter while they were tobogganing at Jaycee Park on Larkwood Street. The boy was taken to the Sydenham District Hospital, but later transferred to a hospital in Michigan.
Chatham-Kent Police said both dogs are being held by Pet and Wildlife Rescue (PAW) while police continue their investigation. The breed of the dogs has not been released.
"I was screaming at the top of my lungs." - Lisa Persyn
Nick and Lisa Persyn know the two dogs. According to the couple, the same dogs, which they identified as American bulldogs, attacked their dog Jordan at the same park on October 20, 2017.
Lisa took her daughter and Jordan to Jaycee Park that day after she got home from work. Her husband showed up unexpectedly and was playing with their daughter on a nearby hill. She was standing with Jordan, who was on a leash. She said she noticed two dogs circling the park.
"The two dogs started coming at me aggressively," she said, and then they attacked. One dog attacked Jordan's neck, the other dog came around and attacked his neck from the other side."
"My husband ran and tried to lift him up...and the dogs just continued and would not stop tearing him apart," she said. "I ran to get my daughter, my husband was punching and pushing these dogs off. I was screaming at the top of my lungs."
Lisa said she she phoned police while her husband kept trying to get the dogs off of Jordan.
"I finally just laid on top of my dog to protect him, just to protect his neck and head and the bulldogs were jumping over me, jumping on me, trying to get in wherever they could to get at him," said Nick.
"I finally just laid on top of my dog to protect him." - Nick Persyn
The attack finally stopped and police arrived.
In a statement sent to CBC News, police spokesperson Renee Cowell confirmed officials with Pet and Wildlife Rescue investigated an incident where a dog owned by the family was attacked by two bulldogs.
"Charges were laid under the Responsible Animal Ownership By-Law," she added.
The family took their dog to an emergency clinic in Chatham. Lisa said he had 20 puncture wounds and several lacerations.
'That's what we didn't want to happen'
He was treated at the clinic, but died on Nov. 13, less than a month after the attack from "internal damage, ulcers from the stress and the medication, and everything else from the incident," according to Lisa.
"He was a really nice dog. He was a great dog," said Nick.
The couple said they feel terrible about the little boy who was attacked. "That's what we didn't want to happen," said Nick.
The Persyns said even though they reported the attack to police and PAW, because the attack was on a dog and not a human, there was no order for the owner to euthanize the dogs.