WENTZVILLE, MO (KTVI) – Imagine taking your dog to play in a dog park, then hold him, helplessly, as he takes his last breath, killed by another dog.
That’s exactly what happened at the Quail Ridge Dog Park in Wentzville Sunday afternoon.
Buddy was an eleven year-old Golden Retriever who loved people, and loved to play. “He was just full of life,” recalls his owner, Nick Andres, “and just loved everybody and wanted to greet everybody, and would run between your legs.”
But that life came to a tragic end on Sunday afternoon during a trip to Quail Ridge Dog Park. Buddy was happily playing when he was suddenly attacked by a Great Dane.
What happened next will be hard for Buddy’s family to ever forget. “His tongue was hanging out and it was blue, and I touched his eye and he didn’t blink. We just laid there with him for a while,” says Andres. Then, he and his family lovingly wrapped Buddy in blankets, placed him in their car, and took him to the funeral home next door to their vet.
Meanwhile, the owner of this Great Dane just took his dog and walked away. Andres says, “He saw me laying on my dog trying to get him back, and he didn’t stop and say hey man, I’m sorry, or say, can I help, or can I call somebody? Nothing. He just left.”
Now, St. Charles County Animal Control investigators are aggressively looking for this Great Dane and its owner. Meanwhile, those who visit this dog park regularly say they plan to be more vigilant.
Dog owner Katelin Todd says, “It surprises me. It makes me want to be more aware of what’s going on, and watching for aggressive dogs, and be more assertive with the owners that have those aggressive dogs.”
St. Charles County Parks Department Director Bettie Yahn-Kramer says dangerous dogs aren’t welcome in their dog parks, period: “Aggressive dogs are not to be introduced to the off-leash dog park areas. Owners are legally responsible for their dogs and any injuries their animal may cause.”
As for Andres and his family members, none of them plan to set foot in Quail Ridge—or any dog park—ever again. The memories are just too much to bear. Andres says, “I’m just not a fan of them, and now I’ll never be back, because I left on a Sunday afternoon with my dog, and I come home and I don’t have him and I miss him.”
Andres believes the Great Dane was with a man in a ball cap and Hurley sweatshirt, and a woman, who both looked to be in their mid-20s.
St. Charles County Parks Department is requesting that anyone that has video, pictures or information about the aggressive dog or its owner to contact St. Charles County Animal Control at (636) 949-7387.