Air Canada pilot Connor Dubuc was crossing the parking lot in front of an Etobicoke hotel Tuesday morning when he was viciously attacked by a dog.
“I thought, ‘This thing is going to tear me apart,’” recalled Dubuc, 54, who is recovering at his Guelph home.
The pilot needed 14 stitches to close wounds on his left forearm and palm, and his left hip was bruised in the attack that unfolded around at 8:30 a.m.
He’s also awaiting test results on Nov. 17 to make sure the Rotweiller-American Bulldog-mix didn’t have rabies.
But, more importantly, Dubuc – who was at the hotel attending a conference – is worried the canine might hurt others as he was told by Toronto Animal Services that it’s previously been declared a dangerous dog and should have been wearing a muzzle.
“The dog was not muzzled when it attacked me,” said Dubuc, who couldn’t remember if the older female owner was holding it by its leash.
“It just lunged at me and took me down. It ripped part of my forearm apart and I’ve got a really deep laceration to my hand. It attacked me for about ten seconds and then I was able to get back into the hotel. If that was a little girl or a little boy, the kid would be dead. I’m 190 pounds. I go to the gym five days a week and that thing took me down.”
Dubuc said during the attack the owner attempted to pull the dog off of him but “was sort of yelling at me in a sort of schizophrenic vibe, yelling all this nonsense. And I just said, ‘Try to control your dog.’”
Dubuc said following the attack he went into the lobby at the Residence Inn by Marriott and was taken to Etobicoke General Hospital where he spent seven hours getting sutures, blood work, and X-rays as well as consideration for rabies vaccination.
Dubuc said a Toronto-based man named Gary who is a friend of the dog owner – he and the woman were staying at the hotel together – is going to look after her and the dog, which is currently being confined and observed to determine if rabies was transmitted at the time of the attack.
“From my understanding the woman is mentally disturbed, possibly homeless,” said Dubuc, who thinks he’ll be off work for a week recovering.
“I spoke with Animal (Services) and they said, ‘We can’t even talk to the woman because we can’t communicate with her because of her mental health.’ So I said, ‘Maybe it’s time you picked up this animal since the owner cannot take responsibility for this animal.’ And they said, ‘We can’t do that unless we get a court order.’
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Dubuc, who remains in contact with Gary as recently as Thursday morning, said nobody at Toronto Animal Services could tell him how to get a court order but he’s also filed a complaint with Provincial Animal Welfare Services hoping to put some pressure on the situation and they said they will contact TAS to investigate.
“For me it’s about public safety,” he said.
A spokesman for Toronto Animal Services said they were aware of the attack but couldn’t comment as it’s still under investigation.
OTHER RECENT DOG ATTACKS IN THE GTA:
– On Nov. 1, a 75-year-old Nixon, Ont., woman was taking out her garbage when she was attacked by an American bull dog or pitbull mix and suffered severe facial and scalp injuries, puncture wounds to her legs and arms and a large bite on her thigh;
– On July 30, an East York woman suffered bites on the back of her right bicep, hips, and lower buttocks when she was mauled by two off-leash pit-bull-like dogs;
– On July 27, a nine-year-old girl was mauled and severely injured by three dogs that ran out a Newmarket residence where she and her father had gone to look at puppies;
– On June 28, a six-year-old Scarborough girl, who was with her mother, was bitten and pulled by at least one of a group of two dogs, one a German Shepherd, outside of an apartment and received upwards of 25 stitches to her lower back and buttocks.