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'I was begging the man to help': Off-leash dog attacks German shepherd in northeast Edmonton

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A dog required emergency surgery after what its owner described as a vicious attack Friday evening in northeast Edmonton.

Janis Fitzpatrick was walking her nine-year-old female German shepherd cross Xena around 4:30 p.m. near 123 Avenue and 42 Street. A man was walking his dog off-leash when it bounded over down the hill and attacked Xena.

"[It was] very ferocious biting her," Fitzpatrick told CTV News Edmonton. "Had a very strong grip on my dog. I could see my dog wasn't fighting back she was trying to get away from this dog."

While it was happening, Fitzpatrick said the other dog's owner stood at the top of the hill and watched.

"I was screaming, pleading, can you please come help me, come get your dog," she added.

As she was struggling to get the dog off hers, the owner finally came over and put a retractable leash on it, Fitzpatrick recalled.

"I saw blood squirting from my dog's chest and I knew there was an open puncture wound," she said. "I knew that it was probably very serious."

"I was begging the man to help us, and he refused. He started to walk away, he said, 'Suck it up, she's fine. Just put some ice on it.'"

A photo of the dog and its owner that Fitzpatrick says attack her dog Xena (Supplied).

According to Fitzpatrick, the man unleashed his dog again after he walked away. She pleaded to get his information, but he refused.

"I did have some fears that this dog could come back and finish off my dog or even attack me," Fitzpatrick said.

In the nine years she has walked Xena in the Bergman Park area, Fitzpatrick says she never had an issue. She reported the incident to Animal Care and Control, hoping to identify the owner and his dog.

She rushed Xena to an emergency veterinarian, where her dog needed surgery to close the wound on her chest and three staples for the one on her back. Her vet bills are approaching $2,200 so far.

"They said she was lucky," Fitzpatrick said. "I'm just blessed that someone was watching over us because she's my best friend, and she's my whole life."

Janis Fitzpatrick pets Xena a day after she had emergency surgery for wounds from a dog attack (CTV News Edmonton/Amanda Anderson).

Fitzpatrick hopes Xena will fully recover and is asking dog owners to keep their beloved pets on a leash.

"Please be careful with your pets," Fitzpatrick said. "This may happen again, and I don't want that for anybody." 

On Feb. 9, the City of Edmonton confirmed that the owner of the dog who bit Xena has been given a bylaw ticket for the attack and for not having a pet licence.

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