UPDATE: Turner brought Tino into the vet to be put down on Saturday.
A Grande Prairie dog owner is warning others to watch for wildlife while walking their dogs after her 14 week old puppy was trampled by a moose in Grande Prairie. On Thursday, Rachel Turner took her German shorthaired pointer Tino for a walk on the paths near the South Bear Creek ball diamonds.
She was with a friend and another puppy when a moose appeared within arm’s reach without warning. The animal reportedly snorted and then came out of the bushes. Turner says she managed to grab the other dog but Tino was separated from the group.
“I guess my puppy thought I was leaving so he went to run toward me. The moose just jumped on him and stomped him. Tino tried to get up. The moose thought he was trying to get up so Tino was stomped again.”
Turner says she looked away waiting for the moose to stop.
“The moose slowly walked away. As soon as we saw him walk into the woods, we ran forward and picked up the puppy. We ran towards the car and called the vet on the way.”
The injured puppy was rushed to Animal First Vet Clinic where he was looked at by a vet. Turner says he may be paralyzed from the waist down.
“They put their hands under his belly to see the extent of the damage. His front legs were completely stiff going forward and his back legs were diagonal with the pads of his paws facing up. So, if you were lying on your stomach and your feet were facing up, they were just hanging there.”
He broke a couple of bones off of his spine but the vet says those will grow back. The main part of his spine is curved into a “C” shape due to swelling and they can’t tell yet if it is broken.
To take Tino to a specialist in Edmonton would cost around $10,000, but Turner has been given the option of giving the pup 24 hour care for three days to see whether the swelling would go down.
Turner says she wants other dog owners to know that moments like these happen and looking back, she couldn’t have done much more to prevent it. She recommends that other people with dogs be mindful of their surroundings and realize you can come across wildlife here in the city.
Alberta Environment encourages everyone to walk their dogs on a leash as even well-trained dogs can bark or chase a wild animal. Turner says Tino was on a leash that day, but had pulled away in excitement when they got close to their vehicle.