2nd dog mauled near Watson Lake, Yukon, in less than 3 weeks

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Spartan, a dog belonging to an elder in Two Mile Village, Yukon, was mauled by a pack of aggressive dogs last Friday. Spartan was the second dog mauled in the area in the last three weeks. (Submitted by Deana Zorn - image credit)
Spartan, a dog belonging to an elder in Two Mile Village, Yukon, was mauled by a pack of aggressive dogs last Friday. Spartan was the second dog mauled in the area in the last three weeks. (Submitted by Deana Zorn - image credit)

A second dog was mauled in Two Mile Village, Yukon, about two and half weeks after a first dog was mauled by a pack of aggressive dogs in the community.

Liard First Nation Chief Stephen Charlie said the First Nation plans to hire someone to update its bylaws to address the problem.

"We've notified our membership that we will be working with them to address the situation," he said.

He added some of the consequences for people who don't take care of the dogs could go as far as losing their property, a measure that's not included in the current bylaws.

In an email to CBC News, the RCMP said it heard from residents but because "the dog attacks are not criminal matters, they have been referred to our partners at Liard First Nation for follow up."

"LFN enforcement officers have bylaws in place on the topic of dogs running at large or abandoned that they can apply in their response," the RCMP said in the email before adding that anyone who feels they are in danger, including from violent or aggressive animals, should call 911.

Submitted by Debbie Lewis
Submitted by Debbie Lewis

The Liard First Nation (LFN) sent out a letter to residents of Liard First Nations Band Housing on April 5, shortly after the first dog mauling.

"Vicious animals and dogs running at large or abandoned … will be detained and impounded or destroyed by the enforcement officer," read the letter.

Three aggressive dogs put down by resident

Last Friday, a disturbing picture of a dead dog circulated on Facebook, showing two brown medium-sized dogs sniffing and biting a small white dog laying on the snow and covered in blood.

According to comments written in the post, while only two dogs were shown attacking the white dog in the picture, there was a third dog who joined in the attack.

Other comments indicated the three dogs were put down by a resident that afternoon. However, other comments by community members said that was only a short-term solution.

Many asked who the dog owners were and why they were not overseeing their pets.

Burst into tears

When Deana Zorn, who lives in Watson Lake, about 12 kilometres from Two Mile Village, saw the pictures on Facebook, she burst into tears.

She said the dog, named Spartan, wandered around town often.

"Everyone loved him. He was not an aggressive dog at all," she said.

She said he belonged to an elder in Two Mile Village but used to walk to Watson Lake.

Submitted by Deana Zorn
Submitted by Deana Zorn

She said the issue about dogs in the community is a matter of educating people on the importance of fixing dogs and keeping them within the owner's property rather than letting them wander around town unsupervised.

"This is very much a human problem, not a dog problem."

'It's darn scary'

But Debbie Lewis, who lives between Two Mile and Watson Lake, said letting dogs roam free has become a safety concern for her and her family.

"We complained a little bit, but now it's to a point where it's darn scary," she said. "I don't even like my grandkids walking down to the youth centre … If a dog got hold of them, they would have no chance in hell to get loose. They would end up like one of those dogs."

Last week, she was surprised to see three dogs trying to go into her backyard where she has two leashed dogs: a husky and a German Shepherd mix.

When she logged on to Facebook to write a rant about the three mysterious dogs later, she learned they had killed someone else's pet that same day.

"I've been constant on my dogs because I was fearful that if I was to go too far or not keep my eye on her, that maybe they were going to come in and do that to them, too," she said.

"My biggest concern is coming home and finding one of my dogs dead."

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