By Jack Keating, The Province
A Vancouver Island man is heartbroken after one of his two dogs died after being savagely attacked by two pitbulls in a quiet Nanaimo neighbourhood.
Tom Lozza said Sunday that he plans to sue the dogs' owner, who was fined $1,000 after the attack for not having the two “restricted” pit bulls leashed or muzzled as per the Nanaimo City bylaw regarding a “restricted breed” of dogs.
Lozza’s nightmare began Friday at about 10:45 a.m. when he was walking his two small dogs — Matty and Miya — on a leash in the 1600-block of Caspers Way.
The two pit bulls, which Nanaimo Animal Control officer Cheryl Zanchetta of Coastal Animal Services says are both a “presacanario pit bull mix”, were in the back of a truck with a canopy that had an open window along the side of the truck parked in a construction-site parking lot.
“One of the pit bulls stuck his head out of the window and saw us coming and he squeezed out of the window and he ran at me,” said Lozza. “And he jumped on me and knocked me to the ground.”
“And whilst he was on top of me, he grabbed Matty by the head and started shaking him.”
“And then the second dog squeezed out of the window and went after Miya and beat the piss out of her. She rolled up into a ball and he let her go. And then the second pit bull went and attacked Matty.
The two pit bulls, who weighed an estimated 70-pounds each, ganged up on Matty, a six-year-old 10-pound Maltese poodle cross.
“So one had the head and one had the back end,” said Lozza. “He was eaten from head to toe.”
About six construction workers, who saw what was happening from an adjacent construction-site scaffolding, ran to the aid of Lozza and his two dogs.
“They came running across the parking lot and were just laying their steel-toed boots to these pit bulls,” he said. “So the construction workers beat the dogs off us. One of the construction workers wrapped Matty into his jacket. He was laying in a puddle of water and a pool of blood.”
“And one of his buddies came with his truck and they put me in the truck and put Matty on my cap and he raced up to the Vancouver Veterinarian Hospital which was just about a block and a half away.”
Matty was in critical condition with multiple injuries and despite emergency treatment by the vet died Saturday in hospital.
“I think it’s completely disgusting” said Zanchetta of the attack and resulting death. “I was appalled. I mean it was a pretty gruesome thing that happened.”
Zanchetta said the only saving grace was that Lozza was not seriously injured.
“I’m just grateful it was the dog and not the man because the dogs went after him first,” said Zanchetta. “But still it’s pretty sad when you’re taking your dogs for a walk on a leash and these two aggressive dogs come out and charge at you. He’s going to see that every time he closes his eyes for a long time.”
Any pit bull mix is considered a restricted dog under the Nanaimo bylaw.
“I mean these are the reasons why we have a certain restriction on those breeds to prevent stuff like this happening, said Zanchetta. “If they had a muzzle on them, they couldn’t have done the damage they did.”
Nanaimo Animal Control is continuing their investigation into the attack and the dogs could still be seized at a future date. They weren’t seized at the scene of the attack because the owner had taken them to his home before the animal control officer arrived to investigate.
“I want those dogs put down,” Lozza said, of the two pit-bulls.
Lozza said he will be speaking to his lawyer Monday morning to pursue a civil suit against the dogs owners and “against all parties that are involved.” to recoup an estimated $5,000 in vet and autopsy bills and for his own mental anguish.
“I’m absolutely devasted and heartbroken,” said Lozza, 52. “I’m traumatized as well. I haven’t slept in two days. I’m a single adult and these two dogs were my children.”
Nanaimo man heartbroken after pit bulls kill his dog - Nanaimo Daily News