A Coombs family is grieving after their 18-month old French bulldog was attacked and believed killed by a wolf-dog hybrid that has been on the loose for months.
Greg Salmon said he was walking his dog, Ocean, on leash Saturday around 9:30 a.m. on a trail near Coombs Country Campground when a wolf-dog appeared and grabbed the dog in its mouth.
The wolf-dog pulled so hard, it broke Ocean’s collar and broke Salmon’s finger by pulling on the leash, he said in a statement Monday.
The animal took off into the woods and Salmon chased after it but lost sight of it.
Salmon called police and ran back to his trailer to find his partner and his daughter to look for Ocean.
After searching for a while, they found a trail of blood that they believe came from the dog.
“It was heartbreaking and to see that the blood was still warm. There was no trace of our Ocean anywhere else,” said Salmon, who believes his dog has been killed.
A wolf-dog hybrid has been on the loose in the Coombs area since early September. It’s unclear where it came from, but it’s believed to have been dumped out of a vehicle by its owner.
The family said they want people who abandon animals to be held responsible for the animal’s actions and face criminal charges if it hurts a person or another animal.
After weeks of unsuccessfully trying to catch the wolf-dog, Gary Shade of Finding Lost and Escaped Dogs, or FLED, said he has packed up his trap.
Shade was working with locals who have extensive experience with wolf-dogs to try to catch the animal in a live trap, but those people have decided it’s too much for them, he said.
Shade said he doesn’t have the expertise and isn’t close enough to the area for daily checks to keep attempting to catch the animal on his own.
Two other dogs were attacked previously, and people online have been threatening to find the wolf-dog and shoot it, he said.
“It’s sad to say, but I think it’s going to happen,” Shade said.
He said the easiest way to catch the animal would be to shoot it with a tranquilizer, but conservation officers, who can tranquilize wildlife, say the animal does not fall under their mandate.
The B.C. Conservation Officer Service said its mandate is to protect the public from “dangerous wildlife” under the B.C. Wildlife Act, which only covers bears, cougars, coyotes and wolves, and does not include dog breeds or hybrids.
Oceanside RCMP did not respond to a request for comment.
Coastal Animal Control Services has had a trap in place in the Coombs area for several weeks that is monitored daily.