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'Total chaos': Auburn Bay Pit Bull attacks leave man injured, one dog dead and another hurt

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A Calgary man is recovering from several bites and bruises after he and his two dogs were attacked by two Pit Bull Terriers while out for a walk on Sunday night in the community of Auburn Bay.

Greg, who wanted to keep his last name anonymous, said he was able to protect his Australian Shepherd and Daschund and fight off the dogs, but shortly after, another dog nearby, believed to be a Pomeranian, was attacked and killed.

"It was a fight. Total chaos," he said.

"Adrenaline kicked in and I reacted and I would do it again. Even knowing the dangers, I would do it again in a heartbeat."

Greg was walking the dogs just a few blocks from home in Auburn Bay around 8 p.m. when he says two off-leash Pit Bull Terriers charged them, unprovoked.

He picked up his smaller dog and began to kick and punch the dogs in what he described as a fight for all their lives.

"Before I realized it, both dogs were on top of us and grabbing my Australian Shepherd around the neck and they started to bite him," he said.

Someone driving by stopped to help and they were able to get Greg and the dogs into an SUV.

"I was doing everything possible to get them to release. At one point, I ended up on my back and kind of kept struggling with them until the bystander came out."

Greg was bitten many times as well, puncturing his gloves and thick jacket.

His Australian Shepherd, Joey, was rushed to the vet for emergency surgery.

Later, he and his wife, Jennifer, were devastated when they heard that a senior's dog had been attacked and killed shortly after.

"I have a broken heart for her because at least we came home with our dogs, eventually," Jennifer said.

"I have a lot of anger that this was totally unnecessary and unprovoked. We were just out for a walk and it could have happened to anyone," Greg said.

The couple have nothing against the dogs' breed – they used to foster Pit Bulls.

However, they are angry with the owners and say something needs to change.

"Pit Bulls or any other dog, the potential for danger is out there, so we need to make sure we do whatever is possible to keep people safe," Greg said.

"I could have lost the most important things in the world to me – my dogs and my husband," Jennifer said.

"This should have never happened and more needs to be done to keep things from happening where a community of kids, full of animals, full of families and full of seniors are at risk because people are not being responsible with their large breed and aggressive dogs."

Calgary police responded to the incident and seized two animals, who remain in the city's custody while an investigation is completed by city bylaw officers.

According to Ryan Pleckaitis, community standards chief at the City of Calgary, the two Pit Bull Terriers escaped their yards shortly before the attacks.

"What we're trying to determine in the two separate incidents (is) if it was one of the dogs that was involved or whether both dogs were involved," he said.

"In the coming days and weeks, we will not only be looking to take enforcement action under our bylaws based on what we find but there's also other mechanisms to prevent reoccurrence of incidents like this."

Pleckaitis said the owners of the dogs have co-operated with their investigation and could face consequences, including fines and charges under city bylaws.

He said it is too early to determine if the dogs will be euthanized.

"It's possible, so again, it's premature to make that determination. We need to still gather the facts and assess the evidence but if there's an animal that, based on the information before, that cannot be rehabilitated, that poses a significant risk to public safety, then what we would do is make an application through the courts, the Dangerous Dog Act, and seek euthanizing that animal," Pleckaitis said.

Bryanna Kathrens, a dog walker and owner of Wags Galore, said her clients and people in the area are shaken by the news.

"It's really shocking to hear it happens and scary, too, because dogs are our kids nowadays and you want to feel safe out walking your dogs," she said.

"I do have clients that are nervous to walk their own dogs in the area and I think they're avoiding walking in the evenings right now while they're kind of settling from all this."

She said she is constantly scanning her surroundings and trying to take measures when she sees other dogs.

"In a split second, it can be really tough to know what to do," she said.

"If you have any kind of dog, you need to know the limits and if you have a big, powerful dog, you need to take the steps to make sure it's safe and that everyone around you is safe."

Pleckaitis said the city is focused on public education and awareness about bite prevention, including properly securing your yard.

"Especially dog owners that own dogs that are typically involved in these situations and when they do bite and attack they cause significant damage," he said.

"Dog owners have to understand what their responsibilities are."

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