Vancouver dog attack sends woman to hospital, kills Yorkshire terrier
'Hugo tried to fight for her. I remember seeing him barking at the other dog who was so much bigger than him'
A 54-year-old Vancouver woman is recovering from lacerations to her arms after a dog attack Wednesday night that ended in the death of the family's Yorkshire terrier.
Purvi Sharma, 21, says she and her mother Sumati Sharma, 54, were walking near their home on East 57th Avenue near Main Street when a neighbourhood dog escaped its fenced yard and charged them.
Animal control officials at the City of Vancouver have confirmed the attack and say the dog involved was a German shepherd-cross with no history of aggression. The owners have decided to turn the dog over to animal control for assessment instead of euthanizing it.
'So much pain'
Sharma says her mother scooped up their tiny pet dog Hugo in her arms but dropped him as the larger dog lunged at her and attacked.
"She was trying to shield her face with her arms and she accidentally let Hugo go, obviously because her arms were in so much pain," said Sharma.
"Hugo tried to fight for her. I remember seeing him barking at the other dog who was so much bigger than him," she said.
That's when she said the larger dog picked up her smaller dog in its mouth and "flung him around," leaving him lifeless on a nearby lawn.
Sharma says the owner of the larger dog ran from the yard and "wrestled" the animal, getting bitten in the process.
She had heard the same dog barking and rattling the fence on previous walks, but this time she said the animal broke free and attacked.
Sharma said her mother was treated in hospital for her injuries and is still recovering.
She said Hugo died on the car ride to the animal hospital.
"We tried to save him but he did his best," said Sharma, who fears for others who walk by the same property.
"It could have been a child. It could have been such a horrible situation. It was bad enough already but it could have been so much worse," Sharma said.
She plans to cremate her pet and said she declined a meeting with the other dog's owner.
Kathryn Holm, Vancouver's chief licence officer, wrote in an email to CBC that animal services staff met with both parties involved in the incident. The owners of the German shepherd-cross initially chose to euthanize the dog, but later agreed to turn it over to animal control for assessment.
The animal had no previous history of attacks, according to the city.