Sean Crilly said he lost his mind when 404 Veterinary Emergency Hospital called him to say his dog, Leo, had died.
Crilly said Leo, an English bulldog mixed with boxer, was injured earlier that day, Sept. 30, when two mastiffs attacked near Glen Cedar Public School in Newmarket. Crilly had to intervene and kick the dogs off of his pet.
Fortunately, veterinarians were able to save Leo with CPR, also treating puncture wounds around his back legs. Crilly said it was a close call.
"He is up and walking. He's doing great. He's trying to get back to normal,” Crilly said. “If I had not booted the dogs off of him, they would have ripped him in half.”
The Newmarket community has supported Leo's recovery, contributing $1,000 through GoFundMe to the veterinary bills. Crilly said he did not have enough money to cover the expenses, but the community funds should be able to cover it.
“When I read this yesterday, my heart hurt for you and your family,” one donor wrote. “How absolutely horrifying this is to happen to you. I really hope your pup heals well.”
Crilly said he is thankful for all the support he received. But he added he believes the owner of the other dogs should bear the expense.
He said his dog is gentle and never attacks others, and he is contemplating legal action.
“I’m grateful for everyone’s help, but it shouldn’t be them who has to help me pay,” he said.
The owner of the dogs that attacked — who asked NewmarketToday to withhold her name due to possible backlash — said she feels terrible about what happened. She said the dogs are docile and have interacted with local kids plenty of time without issues, but they were startled by Leo. She added animal control has put a muzzle order on the dogs.
“I feel very badly. I feel sorry for their family,” she said, adding she would do what she can to help but has limited finances. “I feel very deeply for them. If this was my dog, I would feel the same.”
She said she was not the person walking the two dogs at the time. She said she normally muzzles them of her own volition and took them out one at a time to help with control, but neither happened in this instance.
The owner said her family has been subject to harassment, including passersby shouting “dog killer” at them. But she said this was a freak occurrence that could happen to anyone with a dog.
“It’s making my kids uncomfortable, and (they don’t) even want to go to school because of it,” she said of the harassment.
Crilly said he is treating the wounds regularly, and Leo is getting better. He questioned why someone was walking the dogs when they could not control them.
“My dog did not deserve what happened to him.”