Letters to the Editor

Walkers with pets attacked by golden retriever

This is a plea for public safety concerning dogs. If you own a dog that you even suspect might be dangerous, please keep that dog in your yard and away from people and other dogs.

Six women were walking on a quiet public street with two small dogs, both on leashes, when suddenly a medium-sized golden retriever attacked us. The retriever ran into two women, and they were literally thrown to the ground. The retriever then grabbed onto the neck of one of the small dogs. Six women could not get that big dog off the little one. At this point, the retriever’s owner appeared and even she could not get her dog to let go. It appeared that the small dog was going to die. Miraculously, three men heard the commotion and came running to our aid. Luckily, the rescuers managed to get the retriever to release the small dog. In the chaos, the retriever bit one of the men. Two women were bitten as well. Thank you, thank you to the three men who saved us. We have already thanked the men privately, but now want to thank Brad, Issaiah and Pasang (working for Shultz-Miller) publicly. We hate to imagine what might have happened had you not been there. The small dog required surgery but did survive. One woman required X-rays because she was thrown to the ground with such force that the doctor thought her wrist was broken. Thankfully, it was not.

Because we live in a small community, we attempted to resolve this matter privately with the dog owners who, at first, seemed agreeable. The owners asked us to give them time to have their dog “evaluated” before we filed police and animal control reports. They promised they would do so quickly and call us with the results. In the spirit of our Mercer Island community, we agreed to wait a few days. After waiting a week and not hearing from the family, we felt compelled to file reports with both the Mercer Island Police Department and King Co. Animal Control. It has been almost a month and, despite several written requests, the family refuses to give us any information about the retriever’s evaluation. Although the family did pay the vet bill, they refuse to pay the medical bills.

The reason for this letter is to share with our community the lesson we learned from this traumatic situation: Do not wait to file reports in a situation such as this. Your first instinct may be to do the neighborly thing (as ours was). However, some dog owners might not have the same good instincts. If you, your dog, your friend, or your child is attacked and bitten by a dog, immediately report the incident to the police and animal control.

We sincerely hope the retriever’s owners will do whatever is necessary to prevent another similar — or even worse — situation.

We are six athletic women who were attacked and could not stop this dog. It is horrifying to imagine what the outcome might have been with fewer people, a child or an older person.

Daria Absher

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