ARAPAHOE COUNTY, Colo. — A black Labrador retriever puppy named Hank is on the mend after he was attacked by another dog Sunday at Cherry Creek State Park.
Hank’s owner says they were near the water in the off-leash area when they spotted a dog that had tried to attack several other dogs in the park.
“Hank just went up to the dog and sniffed him and the dog just lunged at him and got a hold of his ear,” said K. Andrews.
Hank’s ear was punctured and Andrews says he was bleeding pretty badly. She says she exchanged words with the owner of the other dog and quickly left to take Hank to the vet. Thankfully, he did not need stitches but will wear a cone for more than a week while taking several medications.
Andrews says she is worried other dogs could be in danger if that owner returns to the park.
“We understand that’s a risk but you don’t bring your dog — an aggressive dog — to a dog park if you know it’s not friendly with other dogs,” said Andrews.
With 107 acres to roam, the off-leash area is one of the most popular spots at Cherry Creek State Park.
“The dog park is now tied for the number-one recreation activity,” said Park Manager Jason Trujillo.
Trujillo says their greatest challenge is educating dog owners on making sure their dog is ready to socialize at that level.
“Colorado loves dogs and so do we. We just need to make sure people are very courteous when they’re out here,” said Trujillo.
Trujillo says if a dog is involved in an attack and there are serious injuries, call 911. If there are no serious injuries, he says the best thing to do is call the Arapahoe County non-emergency line and a park ranger will respond. Dog owners can also fill out a report after the fact, but Trujillo says it’s best to get a ranger involved right away.
Once a report is filed, Trujillo says they will determine whether it rises to the level of involving county authorities such as animal control. He says they are not able to ban someone from the park without a court order.