CHICOPEE, MA (WGGB/WSHM) -- One dog is dead and another is under investigation after a vicious dog attack in Chicopee.
“I’ve been crying every day since it happened. It really has impacted me in a sad way. I think the laws should be changed to protect the animals,” said dog owner Paula Dane.
These are pictures of Caitlin, a Papillon who was attacked on September 16 while being walked by her owner in Chicopee.
Dane, a Chicopee resident and fur-mom to Caitlin, told Western Mass News what happened. She said they were walking by the intersection of Columba Street and Garrity Street in Chicopee when an unleashed Siberian husky ran in her direction and attacked Caitlin.
“In an instant, they were on my dog, ripping out her stomach and her neck. She couldn't walk because it involved her hip. She was just sitting there in the road bleeding profusely,” Dane explained.
However, this wasn’t the first attack on Dane’s dogs.
Western Mass News obtained copies of an animal bite report from the city of Chicopee health department.
According to the documents, Dane’s two dogs - Caitlin and Elliot - had been attacked on May 30 on Columba Street by two dogs owned by a neighbor.
The documents identify the dogs as Nova, a female Siberian husky and Gunner, a male back Labrador retriever.
In this case, Dane was able to walk away with her dogs and sought medical treatment for Elliot, also known as Buddy.
“So I took him to the emergency vet in Deerfield and they had to stitch him up and put a drain in him,” Dane added.
A dangerous dog hearing was scheduled for June 22 regarding this case, but it was postponed due to coronavirus restrictions.
A few months passed by and Dane said she felt safe again walking her dogs until the unthinkable happened again. This time, the husky, Nova, attacked her Caitlin.
“All of a sudden, I looked and there they were running at me…full speed…and I had mace in my back pocket. I didn’t even have time to use it,” Dane said.
Dane said she takes this route pretty often and sees many residents walking their dogs. She is worried this could happen to someone else.
“Those dogs live within 200 feet of an elementary school and within 200 feet of multiple housing units,” Dane noted.
Dane said Caitlin’s injuries were so severe that the best option was to put Caitlin down.
“They took her right away and they said her injuries are so severe, you could probably take her some place and try to save her, but the hips involved and we haven't even looked at the neck wounds yet and she’s a senior dog,” Dane said.
Brittany Canterbury-Diaz, Dane’s neighbor, helped transport Dane and Caitlin to the emergency room.
Canterbury-Diaz herself has two daughters and dogs. She said she will not feel safe until something is changed.
“It could have been my kids and my dogs that day with her…There could have been more dogs in that car that needed hospital services that day,” Canterbury-Diaz said.
Dane is now seeking justice for Caitlin. The Chicopee Health Department told Western Mass News that they are setting up a dangerous dog hearing to be held next week on this latest case.
Pam Peebles, the executive director of the Thomas J. O'Connor Animal Control and Adoption Center and who has attended multiple hearings, said several things could happen.
“The hearing committee could put an order in that a kennel be put up on the property that has a cement floor, serious liability coverage, insurance coverage for liability on the property that also names the city not responsible…and of course, this can even be as serious as euthanasia if this dog is a serious threat to the community,” Peebles explained.
We have reached out to the owners of the husky accused in both attacks. They did not wish to comment.