Around 7 p.m. on Easter in Kingfield's Martin Luther King Park, a dog described as a pitbull/boxer mix tore away from its owner and went after a smaller papillon.
When the dust settled, the papillon was dead. But instead of cooperating with the papillon's owner, the owner of the pitbull/boxer mix was "uncooperative" and left the scene.
A release distributed by Minneapolis Animal Control says, "The owner of the attacking dog was an African American female, 5'1"-5'4", unknown age, carrying a baby, and accompanied by two smaller boys and a girl, 9-10 years of age."
"The female was last seen walking eastbound over the footbridge, towards the Third Precinct," the release continues, going on to ask anyone with information to call Animal Control at 612-370-1434.
Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board spokesperson Dawn Sommers tells us her understanding is that "the [pitbull/boxer] was on-leash and got away from one of the kids who was with the owner of the dog."
Asked how often attacks like this occur, Sommers says, "It's not very frequent."
"The incidents that I'm aware of, on occasion they happen at our off-leash parks, but it's even more rare that [they happen] in an on-leash park," Sommers continues. "Most dogs in the city of Minneapolis have been acclimated to be around other dogs, they're socialized, so it makes this incident much more tragic, that somebody walking their dog and doing what they should be doing... to have another dog attack is very unusual and extremely unfortunate."
Sommers says that "in all cases, whether on-leash or off, it comes down to owner control."
The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board's "Dogs and other domestic animals" ordinance says, "No person shall be permitted to take any dog or other domestic animal into any park; unless the dog or domestic animal is restricted at all times by suitable leash not exceeding eight feet in length and under command of owner or custodian." (Service dogs are excepted.)
The penalty for violating the ordinance is a $100 fine, but the owner of the pitbull/boxer mix in question could face other charges if apprehended.
Meanwhile, a woman who claims to be the owner of the papillon took to E-Democracy's Minneapolis Issues Forums and posted this warning (printed unedited):
WARNING to small dog owners-- Follow Aaron Rupar on Twitter at @atrupar. Got a tip? Drop him a line at [email protected]
Julene from Kingfield
Our sweet papillon was attacked and killed by a boxer pit bull mix "family dog" in Kingpark. Since moving to kingfield 2 years ago we have had some scares with dogs in the park.
We feel this park is much to dangerous to walk small dogs please be wary. We thought we were extra careful but could not stop the attack nor could the boxer pit family as they stood and watched there dog kill ours. And left for home after their Easter walk. Only the very small boy said he was sorry.
If you know this dog PLEASE CALL Julene 6122428029. Lives on the east side of freeway between 38 and 40th?????