David Casas of Silver Lake had brought his two children and the family dog – Chipotle, a 25-pound poodle mix – to a new section of Elysian Park on Riverside Drive last weekend when he noticed another dog owner playing with an unleashed dog nearby. The man and his dog -a pit bull puppy about twice the size of Chipotle – began walking back to their car near the play area where Casas had tied Chipotle to a bench. As Casas walked over to his dog, who sometimes gets spooked by larger dogs, the grey pit bull in a blue harness headed in the direction of Chipotle. Casas describes what happened next:
Before I got a chance to grab my dog’s leash, the Pit ran towards my dog and they both greeted each other like normal dogs usually do. Then out of nowhere the Pit grabbed my dog by the neck and let go fairly quickly. The man then grabbed his dog and proceeded to leave and just told me that the bite looked harmless and to just put Neosporin on it. I yelled at the man, but he either didn’t hear me or ignored me.
The man drove off with his pit bull. Casas drove Chipotle to the veterinarian, who discovered that the harmless looking bite was more serious than it looked.
“The vet found extensive damage to the neck and shoulder muscles of my dog,” Casas said in an email. “The initial wound was small with very little blood, but the vet explained to me that Pits usually cause much damage internally.”
Casas contacted Animal Control and gave them the license plate and description of the vehicle, a white sedan, that was driven by the pit bull owner.
Nearly a week after the attack, Chipotle, who is going to be left with a large scar, is jumping around and eating properly. The dog appears “happy” but Casas fears Chipotle might be traumatized the next time he is taken for a walk.
“I know there have been many issues in Elysian Park regarding unleashed dogs,” said Casas. “I simply want to warn people because there are many irresponsible dog owners who think it’s OK to leave a big dog run free.”