Truffle took a walk with his family — on leash — at Mills Reservation on Friday only to be attacked by two off-leash dogs. Truffle’s family shared the following on Montclair Watercooler and want to get the word out to others about the dangers of dogs going off leash:
On Friday afternoon, my husband and I took our nine year old, her friend and our dog for a walk at Mills Reservation. Our dog, Truffle, is almost 2 years old and he’s a bundle of fun. We all love him dearly. It was our first time with him at the reservation. Truffle was on-leash, frolicking with my daughter and her friend, and having a merry time until two off-leash dogs set upon him. One of them attacked Truffle and after what seemed like an eternity, but was likely only a minute or two, the owners caught up to the two dogs and managed to bring them under control. The girls were terrified, crying and screaming. I was screaming. My husband helplessly tried to extricate our dog from harm. Truffle was very scared, but he seemed otherwise ok after we quickly looked him over. We high-tailed it back to our car and it was only once we were on the way home that we realized he was bleeding. I took him to the animal hospital and sure enough, he had two puncture wounds, which required several stitches. Fortunately, Truffle is going to be fine. We humans, however, will not soon forget the horrifying vision of our beloved dog being attacked.
It is AGAINST THE LAW to allow your dogs to run off-leash in the reservation or any other county park, except in designated areas (Brookdale has a dog run for a reason). You may think your dog is the best-behaved dog on the planet. But they are animals and if they’re off-leash they cannot be controlled. It is our responsibility as dog owners to keep our dogs from inflicting harm on other dogs or people. I am grateful our dog is ok and that the girls were not hurt. But I will never return to Mills Reservation again.
In my haste to get the dog and the girls out of harm’s way, I did not get the owners’ contact information, nor did I call the sheriff’s office. I should have. I did, however, contact the Essex County Parks Department, Joe Vincenzo’s office and the Sheriff’s office this morning to let them know what happened. I’ve asked that they post better signage throughout the park that indicate the fine amounts for off-leash dogs and the sheriff’s phone number, so people can immediately call if they witness an incident or are victims themselves, or if they see dogs off-leash.
Please think twice before you let your dogs run off-leash in public parks. Our furry friends deserve better.