Horse, and dog that attacked it, euthanized after Friday's tragedy near Cobble Hill

A dog owner is negotiating expenses with a Cobble Hill family whose two horses were viciously attacked Friday.

"Leash and control your dogs," CVRD bylaw-enforcement officer, Nino Morano said, when asked about the mauling's moral. "Every dog has a trigger and you don't want to go through what these people went through. It will impact both parties for a very long time."

He said a valley woman was walking a leashed, "pit bull-type" dog around noon on a Crown land recreation side of Cobble Hill Mountain.

The canine escaped its owner's grip, entered a nearby property, then attacked two horses, Morano said of the hobby-farm acreage whose owners weren't home.

"The dog owner attempted to retrieve her dog. By the time she got to the dog, significant damage was done to both horses."

A vet was called and determined one of the horses had to be euthanized.

The dog was also put down shortly after the attack, Morano said. He declined to name the dog and horse owners.

Cowichan Valley Regional District staff were still investigating the dog's history, and why it attacked, though Morano was satisfied public safety was restored with its death.

Its owners were also puzzled about why the canine pounced.

"They had no indication this dog was capable of this."

All dogs have have a prey-hunting instinct no matter what breed or size, but some dogs can cause more damage than others, he said.

"This dog bit one horse on part of the heel where it significantly impacted that leg. The vet determined the leg would never be the same."

The horses, of undetermined age or breed, kicked at the menacing mutt but it didn't stop, Morano explained.

The CVRD isn't proceeding with fines against the dog owner.

"The dog owner has taken full responsibility, is communicating with the horse owner, and indicates they want to compensate them for the loss, and the vet costs," he said, noting bills could be thousands.

The CVRD has no breed-specific dog bylaws. Fines for owners of dogs at large, or vicious ones, start at $250 per attack, then enter legal action, and the pet's destruction.

B.C. laws allow shooting of any animal threatening livestock, he noted.

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