Owner faces charges under city bylaw after dog fatally attacked in Grant Park area

By | May 19, 2020

Judith Dickson and Ioana Dragne are struggling to grieve the loss of a dog named Popeye they co-parented for over 18 years.

The two friends, who shared the dog they’d push in a stroller and feed gourmet home-cooked meals, say he was attacked at random Sunday evening when Dragne took him for a walk around the neighborhood.

“The dog did not make any sound before he attacked. He didn’t growl. He didn’t do any noise. He just came in for the kill and he would not stop and of course, he bit me on my thumb,” said Dragne.

The attack happened shortly before 9 p.m. on a boulevard on Guelph Street between Ebby Avenue and Hector Avenue.

“It was shocking to hear it and then know how it ended,” said Alex Long, who lives just steps away from where it happened.

“We knew he wasn’t going to make it,” added Angie Cote, a neighbour who rushed Popeye and Dragne to the vet.

Judith Dickson and Ioana Dragne on the boulevard where Popeye was attacked Sunday. The two friends shared the dog for over 18 years. (Austin Grabish/CBC)

Dragne said she fought the dog off initially, but the Labrador-Dalmatian mix wouldn’t stop attacking Popeye.

“Even after I took him the first time out of his mouth, and I was pushing him away, he should have gone away but he came back for the kill three times. He was relentless.”

She said Popeye was left with punctured lungs and a broken rib cage. Dragne said a vet told her he wouldn’t make it so she put him down.

“He was like crying out. The sounds, they’re going to stay with me for life. I just can’t believe it.”

Popeye’s owners say he was treated like a human and loved by people in River Heights who’d be intrigued by his old age. (Submitted by Judith Dickson)

The owner of the attacking dog didn’t want to do an interview with CBC News, but told a reporter Tuesday while fighting tears she feels awful about what happened.

She said when her teenage daughter came home Sunday evening their dog, who is about 11 months old, escaped. The owner said she would be willing to take a responsible pet course if she’s allowed to keep the animal.

The city said the owner has been charged with four offences under the city’s responsible pet ownership bylaw.

City spokesperson Joelle Schmidt said the bylaw allows owners to quarantine a dog at home after an attack.

The charges include allowing a dog to run at large, failure to vaccinate, failure to prevent a dog from injuring a person or animal and failing to license.

The dog is now under quarantine at its owner’s home for 10 days and will have to face a dangerous dog hearing.

Popeye was left with punctured lungs and a broken rib cage after the attack, according to his owner. (Submitted by Judith Dickson)

“I want this dog destroyed as much as I love dogs more than I love people. This dog is going to kill another dog given the opportunity,” Dragne said.

Dickson wants her dog, who was loved by many in the neighborhood, to be remembered.

“Popeye was eighteen and a half. A remarkable character I would say, more like Truman Capote always thinking of something. He was just an unusual dog and he’s adored by many.

“The way he died, our hearts, it’s almost like they’re stuck in our chest. Like we don’t know how to process it. It was so violent.”

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