Dog dies after injuries suffered at Shreveport Dog Park, owner says
SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) - The owner of a dog fatally injured by other dogs at Shreveport's new dog park wants to increase awareness of the dangers of mixing small and big dogs at the riverfront venue.
Katherine May says it happened when she took her 3-year-old "Chorkie" (Chihuahua and Yorkie) mix Sandy to the park with her kids Wednesday night.
Sandy was attacked by multiple larger dogs, including a German shepherd, and suffered multiple wounds to her abdomen and broken ribs.
May said she rushed Sandy to the emergency veterinarian but ultimately had to have her put down due to the severity of her injuries.
May's 11-year-old daughter Annabel tried to intervene when the attack happened, May said.
"When the other dog finally stopped, I picked her up," Annabel said. "She was yelping. She bit me twice. My little sister was crying."
It happened less than a week after the opening of Shreveport Dog Park near the Stoner Avenue boat launch and hours after Shreveport Dog Park Alliance posted a video to its Facebook page outlining park rules.
The rules of the dog park say that no more than 2 dogs are allowed per attendant and that attendants must be at least 18 years old.
Katherine May admitted that she was in the parking lot of the dog park briefly when they arrived and told her children to go ahead without her, which the rules of the dog park specifically prohibit.
The regulations specify that aggressive dogs are not allowed and mandate the removal of dogs that behave aggressively or fight.
But the rules do not specifically require attendants to use the separate areas within the 4-acre, off-leash park designated for small dogs and big dogs.
May said she is deeply saddened by what happened and regrets allowing her small dog to be around larger dogs at the park.
Now she wants others dog owners to be aware.
May also said she does not blame the city or park and does not wish to file any reports.
The park is a public, city facility maintained by Shreveport Parks and Recreation (SPAR).
The city released the following statement late Thursday afternoon in response to a request to comment:
"The City of Shreveport has undertaken every effort to make its newly opened dog park an inviting and family-friendly environment. The unfortunate incident this week has highlighted the importance of our community being aware of all the rules and regulations of the dog park.
The park currently maintains separately marked areas for dogs of different temperaments. Dog owners are ultimately responsible for the actions of their pet(s), and each member of the public is expected to adhere to the posted rules of the park. The rules that govern the use of the park are found in the City's Code of Ordinances, are also displayed near the park entrance, and are derived from best practices around the country. Per the ordinances, a person 18 years or older who brings a dog to the dog park is expected to be inside the enclosed dog park and have visual and voice control of the their dog(s) at all times. Minors are not allowed to accompany dogs unattended.
The City of Shreveport remains committed to the success of the park."
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