Taking your pet to a local dog park can be a fun experience, and it also allows your dog to socialize and become comfortable when other dogs and people approach him/her. For one couple from North Carolina, a visit to the local dog park ended in the sudden death of their beloved puppy named Presley.
According to the pet owners, Maran Heatwole and Joseph Hawley, an un-neutered bull mastiff attacked Presley and damaged his back legs. While on the way to the veterinarian, their puppy passed away. Although the person in charge of the bull mastiff provided his number and offered to pay medical bills, the gesture won’t bring back this couple’s dog.
Events as horrific as this doesn’t commonly occur, but there are potential dangers at dog parks that you should be aware of. However, this doesn’t mean that you should avoid them or keep your dog away from all social events. Somber stories such as this should serve as reminders, because dog park etiquette is more important than you once might have thought it was.
When taking your pet to a local dog park, it’s crucial to keep your dog on a leash—even the added harness can give you more control. You don’t want your pet to be roaming around or causing trouble with a more aggressive canine. Dogs, especially puppies, are curious and can inadvertently instigate a fight with another dog. If you feel like your pet is in danger, remove him/her from the situation immediately. Many dogs play well together, but it doesn’t mean that all of them will be relaxed and easy going. It’s best to have control of the situation at all times, and if you notice that a dog fight is brewing, contact the park police immediately.
Presley’s story is heartbreaking, but it will serve as a reminder for you to secure your pet when at a dog park. Dog parks are meant to provide peaceful social gatherings for canines and their owners, and it’s unfortunate that some individuals act irresponsibly and don’t follow basic dog park etiquette.