'Devastated' dog owner cautions after firecrackers spook pet, cause death

A Trout Lake dog owner is warning people to keep dogs safe after a beloved family pet died after she was spooked by fire crackers and ran onto the SkyTrain track and was hit and killed.

Panicked dog named Maggie fled onto SkyTrain tracks where she was hit and killed

Maggie, a Chow-Labrador cross, lived with the Fluevog family for 7 years. In this family photo, son Lucas enjoys a sandwich with the dog his mother says he loved. (Ali Fluevog)

A Trout Lake area dog owner is warning others to keep their family's best friend leashed or inside close to Halloween after their "beloved" Maggie was spooked by firecrackers, causing her to run off and get hit and killed by a SkyTrain Saturday.

"We are devastated," said owner Ali Fluevog.

The black dog was in an off-leash area on the afternoon of Oct. 29 at Trout Lake Park when a firecracker went off nearby.

Spooked, the dog bolted towards home.

Ali Fluevog says Maggie was a family-friendly dog. (Ali Fluevog)

"She must have been terrified," said Fluevog.

Maggie, a Chow-Labrador cross was a rescue dog, and skittish by nature, she said.

"She panicked and we lost track of her."

Firecrackers panic Maggie

Fluevog and her husband searched with friends and eventually pin-pointed the black dog near the Nanaimo SkyTrain station, but a race to rescue her failed.

"We rushed over but it was too late. In her panic, she had made her way to the platform and onto the tracks. Sky train staff tried to coax her off the tracks, but to no avail. She was hit by a train," Fluevog said.

Maggie, a 9-year-old Chow-Labrador cross, was a rescue dog. SkyTrain workers tried to coax her to safety, but failed. (Ali Fluevog/Facebook)

The family were only able to retrieve the dog's collar, and the SkyTrain workers who tried to save her were upset by the incident, she said.

Fluevog warned other dog owners to keep their animals leashed or inside during firecracker season. She wishes people would not set the incendiaries off near dog parks at all.

'Our beloved Maggie died this evening after being frightened by fire crackers at Trout Lake Park,' said Ali Fluevog in a Facebook post. (Ali Fluevog/Facebook)

Every year the B.C. SPCA warns dog owners to take precautions around Halloween.

  • Keep pets inside: An indoor pet is a happy pet on fireworks night.
  • Try putting them in a separate room with a radio to mask the sound of fireworks.
  • Leave toys so pet does not think isolation is punishment.
  • Make sure your pet has identification. 
  • Leave them at home.
Ali Fluevog wishes people would not set off firecrackers near dog parks. Her dog was spooked and ended up being killed because she ran off. (GP Mendoza/CBC)