Residents of an east end neighbourhood say they are being terrorized by a large dog believed to be a pit bull is mix.
The animal, reported three times for allegedly attacking other dogs, killed a small dog near Gerrard St. E. and Coxwell Ave. last week.
Toronto Police attended that incident and both they and Toronto Animal Services (TAS) are investigating; still, residents were alarmed that the owners were allowed to take the pit bull home.
And they are now afraid to take their children to Greenwood Park and other local green spaces.
But late Friday afternoon, TAS issued a dangerous dog order against the pit bull/pit bull mix’s owner. The order requires control measures for the dog, including muzzling, microchipping, wearing a dangerous dog tag and mandatory training.
A statement from the City of Toronto states in part, “The City is aware of the dog attacks that occurred in Leslieville on June 23 and July 28 and has taken steps to keep the public safe.”
An eyewitness to the deadly incident on July 28 describe a harrowing scene in which the pit bull mix, which was off-leash, repeatedly savaged a small dog being walked by its owner.
The incident took place near the Green Mountain garden centre at Fairford and Coxwell Aves.
An eyewitness, who wishes to remain anonymous, describes the unleashed dog getting away from its owner and running up to the smaller dog, which it then attacked repeatedly.
In the commotion, several people ran toward the scene to try to help. An eyewitness one woman attempted to get the pit bull off the small dog by pulling its back legs.
People at a house across the street from the garden centre came to help.
An eyewitness said the larger dog lunged and latched onto the smaller one four times.
“There was a lot of screaming and yelling. I called 911 right away. The police asked if the dog was biting a human, and when I said it was biting another dog, they told me to call 311.”
Several people stopped and entered the fray, trying to rescue the little dog. A nurse stopped her bicycle to try to help, and she called 311.
They said to call TAS.
“That dog was so strong. The attack went on for about 15 minutes. He had the smaller dog by the neck. The owner was just screaming.”
Someone was finally able to shove the pit bull into a fully fenced nearby yard. A passerby took the young woman and her badly injured dog to an emergency vet, but the little dog did not survive.
“We knew the little dog would die. The woman who was able to get the pit bull off was covered in blood, all down the front of her dress, and there was blood all over the ground.”
Once the pit bull was securely held inside the fenced yard, witnesses heard from TAS, who said it might take two hours before they could get there. Nonetheless, four or five people stayed to wait for them.
An eyewitness the owners of the pit bull then turned up to get their dog.
“I called 911 again,” said the eyewitness. “People tried to stop them taking the dog. He let the dog out, unleashed.”
An eyewitness said the animal then barged across the street and ran up to a house where a boy of about 12 was outside on the porch — and the dog scrabbled toward him.
An adult in the house was then involved in an altercation with the pit bull owner.
Once humans allegedly started hitting each other, the police showed up. That incident is still under investigation.
Even so, the pit bull allegedly attacked yet another dog before the night was done.
As the Toronto Sun reported, 23-year-old student Callum Denault says he saw the tail end of the melee at Upper Gerrard and Coxwell, saw the owner with a bloody lip after whatever altercation took place, and then had to protect his dog, Louie, as the pit bull went after him.
Now area residents say they live in fear.
According to an eyewitness, the dog and its owners live near a public school, where there’s a daycare.
“That dog is really strong. It took four or five people to get it off that smaller dog and into a yard. A leash is not enough to restrain that dog,” said the eyewitness.
“We are all concerned for the safety of the children in the neighbourhood. We know other dogs are not safe. Are they waiting for this dog to attack a child before something is done?
“After what I witnessed — this can’t happen again.”
The investigation by TAS is ongoing.
A call to police at 55 Division was referred to Corporate Communications.