Family Speaks Out After Losing Dog In Attack

Dog's Owner: 'It would have killed a child very easily.'

The Sioux Falls Area Humane Society is investigating after a dog was killed by another dog over the weekend. The attack happened at Newton Hills Campground Saturday Morning. Now the owners of the dog that was killed are speaking out, concerned that something worse could happen to someone else.

“Just a sweet, sweet dog, going to be missed a lot,” said Nancy Larsen of Sioux Falls.

Mike and Nancy Larsen keep replaying the incident in their heads. What was supposed to be a nice walk quickly turned into a tragic event for their family.

Nancy said, “This is a vicious, unprovoked attack that should not have happened.”

The couple says they were taking their dog Lucky for a walk, when another large dog off a leash, came running at them. Nancy tried to get the dog owner’s attention, but she says they didn’t seem concerned as it lunged at their Bichon.

Nancy said, “It’s like ‘Get your dog. He’s killing our dog. Get your dog off’.”

The two say the dog latched onto Lucky’s abdomen. Mike tried to get the dog off, but had no luck.

“Scrapes all up and down my shin and my knee,” said Mike. “Our poor dog couldn’t have, I mean, he didn’t have a chance, I mean, he was gone.”

The Larsens had to put the dog down. Now their biggest concern is what’s going to happen with the other dog involved.

“It would have killed a child very easily,” said Mike.

When an incident like this happens, the Sioux Falls Area Humane Society says an animal is typically quarantined to check whether it has rabies.

“All parties involved, it’s horrible,” said Sioux Falls Area Humane Officer Andy Oestreich.

If they see no signs, the animal would be released back to it’s owner under certain circumstances. A citation could follow.

“When you go camping or let’s say you have a family reunion and you bring your pet with, so many things are unfamiliar, well, they’re animals and they react as such,” said Oestreich. “If something, you know, unfortunate happens, where a child gets bit or another dog gets attacked, you’re responsible.”

The humane society says they’re not through with their investigation. However, people can receive citations for failure to provide rabies vaccinations and for animals running at large. Depending on which county you’re in, the citations can cost you anywhere from $90 to $120.

However, the Larsens wonder if that’s enough.

Mike said, “What could he have done to someone else’s dog or a child or anybody?”