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Dog owner calls for responsibility after second pitbull attack in Campbell River

a pitbull and a rottweiler came tearing across the street with their teeth bared
Jocelyn Doll/Campbell River Mirror Reina was attacked by pitbull on Aug. 13.
Shirley Warburton points out the tubes in her dog Reina’s neck which a veterinarian installed as a result of an attack by a pitbull on Aug. 13.

Another investigation of a pitbull attacking a dog on Aug. 13 on Surfside Drive is underway – the second in two weeks.

Shirley and Kerry Warburton were on their way to visit Kerry’s mother that evening. They had their dog Reina along with them in their vehicle and Shirley and Reina got out a few blocks before Kerry’s mother’s house so the dog could go to the washroom. They were almost at the house when a pitbull and a rottweiler came tearing across the street with their teeth bared.

“My whole life was changed in that instant,” Shirley said. “When those dogs were charging towards me, I knew my dog or myself was going to die. It was unbelievable.”

Shirley started screaming at the dogs to stop and yelled for help. The rottweiler stopped, but the pitbull kept coming. Shirley said it went straight for Reina’s throat.

Kerry and the owners of the rottweiler, who were apparently babysitting the pitbull, came running. Shirley said they spent the next five to 10 minutes trying to pry the pitbull away from Reina. They finally got her free only to lose control of the dog and have it latch on a second time.

When they got her free once again, Kerry and Shirley rushed her to the vet where she was in surgery until 11 p.m. Shirley said the attack happened around 7 p.m. While they waited, they went to the hospital to get Kerry’s fingers checked. He had teeth marks from trying to pry the pitbull’s jaws apart.

Reina was home a few days later, with four drainage tubs protruding from her neck. Had the 60 lbs. dog been any skinnier, she wouldn’t have survived the attack, Shirley said.

Shirley doesn’t think she will ever again walk Reina without Kerry by her side.

Reina is a rescue dog from Mexico and the Warburtons spent a lot of time helping her get over the abuse that she faced before they adopted her. Shirley walks Reina with a muzzle in busy public places just in case.

“If I am doing everything right, why do I have to fear for my life walking down the street in Campbell River,” she said. “I’m traumatized.”

Shirley and Kerry said they have been in contact with the owner of the pitbull and that arrangements have been made to have the vet bill covered.

Mirror staff attempted to contact the owner of the pitbull for comment, but were unable to.  The Mirror contacted Coastal Animal Control Services for comment and were told that the incident is under investigation.