CHICAGO (CBS) — It took just seconds; a dog that was supposed to be playing on the beach ended up dangling from the jaws of another dog, dying and unable to fight back.
Now, there’s a huge push to find the owner of the animal that reportedly attacked.
As CBS 2’s Pamela Jones reports, it’s a case that has devastated a suburban family.
Willy was a healthy Pomeranian; just two years old when his owners say another dog attacked him at a Lakefront dog park, leaving willy with injuries so massive he had to be put down.
“I was horrified. I was helpless,” owner Audrey Fisher said. “And there was nothing I could do, but hold my daughter and shield her from this.”
Fisher and her 12-year old daughter watched the whole thing. They said they’d brought Willy to the Montrose Dog Beach on St. Patrick’s Day.
They were on the sand and Willy was playing with his favorite pink ball. In a flash, it all turned tragic.
“A pit bull came out of nowhere and just attacked him, grabbed him by his belly and shook him violently,” Fisher said.
Dog walker Larry Rose was one of several others who saw it too.
“It was very traumatic,” he said.
But even more traumatic, according to Willy’s family, was the way they say they were treated by the man who owns the dog.
They’ve posted his photo on flyers and the Internet in an effort to find him, because they said he simply left the scene.
“He wasn’t giving up his name. He wasn’t giving up his phone number, nothing,” Fisher said.
Linda Bober rescues and trains pit bulls and other breeds and said, to a pit bull, the smaller dog might have seemed like a toy; but that doesn’t excuse its owner.
“I think it’s appalling. No matter how you look at the situation, it’s tragic on both sides,” Bober said.
Dr. Annette Litster, a veterinarian with PAWS Chicago said, “Little dogs should stay with little dogs, rather than big dogs.”
Litster said there should be sections in dog parks according to dog size.
Willy’s family doesn’t disagree, but they said their focus is finding the owner and animal responsible for their loss.
The ordeal has been posted on MonDog.org, a community website for people who use the Montrose Dog Park. That story has been read more than 3,400 times.
“I think he knows I’m looking for him, if he’s on the Internet at all,” Fisher said.
Some people on MonDog.org said they believed the Pomeranian started the incident with the pit bull, and that the pit bull’s owner was stunned when he left.
But a police report has been filed and police said they want to talk to the man in the photo.
Fisher has been left with more than $5,000 in vet bills.