Investigators are looking into allegations that a dog attacked two other canines at Beau’s Dream Dog Park in Buchanan Park on Sunday afternoon, leaving both of them injured, Lancaster police have confirmed.
East Petersburg resident Leila Fleisher, 28, and her hound-mix Emerald had already been at the park for about 45 minutes when a middle-aged man and woman arrived around 12:30 p.m. with a large dog of an unknown breed, she said.
“There were a bunch of dogs playing in a group, and all of a sudden the one dog was on top of (Emerald), biting her,” she said.
The unknown dog attacked Emerald, Fleisher said, pinning her to the ground and injuring one of her legs.
“Emerald was crying and trying to get up, but the dog was not letting go,” she said.
Other dog owners began collecting their pets, warning the couple to leave the park because of their dog’s aggressive behavior.
At first, the unknown dog owners told the others that their dog was not aggressive.
“They were kind of nonchalant about it,” Fleisher said. “A lot of people were yelling at them to get their dog out of the park.”
Then the dog attacked again several minutes later, injuring what appeared to be a chocolate Labrador, Fleisher said.
“I saw it bite the dog’s shoulder and not let go,” she said. “After they separated them, I saw that he had a slice of his ear (come off).”
The second dog was taken to an emergency vet Sunday, Fleisher said she was told by the animal’s owner. The dog’s owner declined to speak with LNP | LancasterOnline.
The unknown couple then cursed at the other dog owners at the park as they departed, Fleisher said.
Fleisher estimated the attacking dog was about 80 or 90 pounds, more than twice Emerald’s size. She said she also saw what appeared to be scars on its legs.
Emerald was taken to a vet on Monday, saddling Fleisher with a $350 bill, and has been recovering since the attack.
“Since yesterday she’s been able to put weight on (her leg),” Fleisher said.
Fleisher has taken to social media since the incident, writing on Facebook that the owners of the attacking dog then left the park “without taking responsibility, cursing at everyone on their way out and (claiming) their dog was not aggressive even after biting two dogs in separate attacks.”
The dog’s owners should at least be held responsible for paying vet bills that resulted from the attack, said Fleisher, who said she provided a statement about the incident to police Wednesday.
“I definitely think the owners should take responsibility for what happened,” she said. “At the very least pay the vet bills.”
Fleisher also expressed concern for the dog, adding that she believes police should ensure the animal has not been harmed or mistreated.
A Lancaster police dog law officer is investigating the incident, said Lt. Glenn Stoltzfus, a police spokesperson.
Stoltzfus said he was unable to comment further, citing the ongoing nature of the investigation.
Despite the attack, Fleisher still plans on returning to the dog park, where she often goes with Emerald multiple times per week without incident, she said.
“I’ve gone a bunch of times there, and this is the first bad experience I’ve had,” she said. “Most of the time dogs are pretty friendly.”