'Screaming in terror': Woman viciously attacked by dog in Grande Prairie

RCMP and animal control officials in Grande Prairie are searching for a pit-bull type dog involved in a vicious attack that left a woman with serious injuries.

WARNING: Graphic images may be disturbing to some readers.

Krystin Small was bitten on her head and face during a dog attack in Grande Prairie Tuesday. (Krystin Small)

RCMP and animal control officials in Grande Prairie are searching for a pit-bull type dog involved in a vicious attack that left a woman with serious injuries.

Krystin Small, 23, was walking her two dogs, a Chihuahua and a Basenji-German shepherd crossm just after 9 p.m. Tuesday when her neighbour arrived home.

Krystin Small was walking these two dogs when they were attacked on Tuesday. (Krystin Small)

"As soon as she opened her door, her dogs charged out at us," Small told CBC News Thursday.

"The one dog went after my dogs first and she jumped on top of her dog and when I pulled my leashes back and let go so my dogs could escape, that's when the other dog jumped up and bit me in the chest and knocked me down and just started mauling me."

The owner of the attacking dogs couldn't get them under control, Small said.

"She was just screaming repeatedly because she couldn't get her dog off me."

Pit-bull type dog may be at-large

Grande Prairie Enforcement Services issued a news release Wednesday saying it wants help from the public locating a dog involved in an incident Tuesday night.

The news release didn't identify Small by name but said "a female walking two small dogs" was attacked around 9:20 p.m.

"RCMP and Enforcement Services attended the scene and found two injured individuals," Grande Prairie Enforcement Services said in a news release.

"Responding officers confirmed which two dogs were responsible for the attack and were able to gain possession of one of the two dogs.

"The woman who was attacked was taken to the Queen Elizabeth II Hospital and treated for serious, but non-life threatening injuries. The second victim was the owner of the dogs responsible for the attack; she was treated at the scene by EMS staff and released."

The public is asked to look out for "a tan and white pit bull-type dog that may be at large."

The dogs have been declared vicious, Kelly Kokesch, city spokesperson, told CBC.

But Kokesch doesn't think the missing dog is loose in Grande Prairie. "If it was, we'd be getting calls," he said. 

He suspects the dog might be in someone's backyard or is out of the city entirely.

'I was just screaming in terror' 

Small said the owner of the attacking dogs was bitten when she was trying to pull her dogs away.

"All of my neighbours in the area ended up coming out," she said. "One of the guys had to repeatedly kick the dog in the head while my other neighbour grabbed its legs and tail to drag it off of me because it wouldn't stop.

"I was just screaming in terror and feeling pain like I've never felt in my entire life."

Krystin Small says the dog that attacked her bit through her left hand and foot. (Krystin Small)

Small is recovering at home from several injuries.

In addition to the wound to her chest, the attacking dogs "bit through my left hand and foot, bit a hole into the side of my jaw and under my eye, and ripped the top of the scalp open down to the skull," she said.

"I'm missing a piece of my scalp that they could not reattach."

Small said she has been traumatized by the attack.

"I haven't left my house, I can't walk. I also had to take a sleep aid because I couldn't close my eyes without seeing the dog coming at me so I was awake for 40 hours straight after it happened."

She is bothered that one of the dogs that attacked her hasn't been found.

'This isn't the first time'

Small blames bad breeders and owners for the dog's behaviour.

"I would like it if maybe that dog would be put down since it tried to kill me," she said, adding that this isn't the first incident.

Krystin Small says she's been unable to walk after the dog bit her foot. (Krystin Small)

Small is a health-care aide in a dementia unit and has been unable to work since the attack.

She will likely pursue legal action because her ability to work has been affected, she said.

"I have no feeling in my hand or my foot so there's going to be quite a bit of lost wages."