friends of dufferin grove park
Pit Bull Story

Pit Bull Attack

posted May 20, 2004

Early in the rainy evening on Sunday June 29, 2003, a man drinking beside the field house with his friends, and his two pit bulls, sat by while his dogs attacked an old arthritic dog that was just entering the park. Some dog walkers pulled the pit bulls off their victim, and their owner secured them on their leashes, but he seemed to be in an altered state, shouting and threatening. Police were called, but they were busy with the Pride parade and didn't come for a long time. More dog walkers arrived and stood at the far end of the soccer field hoping the police would come. Finally the pit bull owner got really angry. He denounced all white people and then he let go of his dogs. They ran toward one of the more recently arrived dog walkers and attacked his dog, Lloyd. Although Lloyd was normally a rather meek dog, when he saw the pit bulls coming toward him, he reared up on his hind legs and shielded his master. Lloyd got most of his ear bitten off, and his master, trying to ward off the dogs, got cut and scratched up badly. By that point all the porches adjacent to the park were full of people and they were all calling 911. One of the other dog walkers had to repeatedly hit the pit bulls on the head with a shovel to get them to let go of their victim. The police did come then, four cruisers strong, and the pit bulls' owner was arrested. Lloyd the dog, meantime, was taken to a night-time emergency dog clinic where his ear was re-attached. By morning, his owners had racked up a crippling veterinary bill of over $1000.

The police, when they took a statement from Lloyd's owner at the hospital as he was getting his own injuries looked after, said they had arrested the pit bull owner and charged him with assault with a weapon. So the pit bull owner will certainly be prohibited from going to the park as a condition of bail and again as a condition of sentencing. His dogs, meantime, are in quarantine, as a precaution.

By all accounts, the pit bull owner and his friends seem to be strangers to the park. It may be that they are the same group of occasional visitors who got into difficulty about a month ago when one of the group drank himself into unconsciousness near the field house, and an ambulance was called. In both cases the "friends" all vanished before police/ ambulance arrived. Young park regulars regard these visitors badly, and avoid them. It may be that it's time to make sure these folks don't come around here any more. If anyone sees a group behaving badly by the side of the field house, please alert the park staff (they're often in the park late now that it's summer). They will take steps to encourage any drinking group to find another place for their foolish business.