KIRKLAND, Wash. - A dog was mauled to death in Kirkland’s Kingsgate Park Friday, and now police and animal control are investigating a possible connection to another attack last month.
“Our family has been torn apart now,” Carlee Kerr said through tears. She and her husband James lost their 8-year-old papillon Lulu.
Kirkland police said Sunday that because of KOMO viewers, authorities have found the dog that attacked Lulu and that the case has been forwarded to King County Animal Control.
James took Lulu for a walk through Kingsgate Park Friday afternoon. He says she was off-leash at his side, when a woman and two off-leash dogs came around the bend.
“She said ‘oh my dogs are running around and they might trample her, they’re just big dogs, but you don’t need to worry about it,’” James said. “So I just assumed they were rambunctious, playful but not aggressive.”
So James lifted Lulu into his arms. He says the two dogs were a boxer or Rhodesian ridgeback mix and a malamute or husky mix. Moments later, he says, the malamute jumped up and ripped Lulu from his arms, pulling her down to the ground, where he started biting and shaking her.
“And I dove after her and wrestled the dogs and fought for her,” James said. “They only had her for seconds, but it was enough time to thrash her enough to kill her.”
Once James freed Lulu, he ran off the trail, out to the street, and hailed down a car. The driver took him to the vet, where Lulu died.
He says during the chaos the owner said little, and didn’t help him pull her dogs away from Lulu. He says he didn’t have time to ask for her name or take a photo of her. He was focused on getting Lulu out of there.
So Carlee put up a Facebook post asking for help to track down that owner. As of Saturday afternoon it had been shared more than 300 times. It caught the attention of Laura Shouse.
“It was like it was happening again all over in my head,” Shouse said. “And it happened to somebody else now.”
Last month Shouse was walking her dogs in Kingsgate Park, when she says two off-leash dogs approached with a middle-aged couple. She says one was a boxer or Rhodesian ridgeback and the other was a malamute or husky mix.
He says the malamute grabbed her 3-year-old mini Australian Shephard Tah-Boo in its teeth and pulled her away into the bushes.
Shouse says she alone fought the dog until it finally released Tah-Boo, and as she tended to her dog she says the other owners walked away.
Tah-Boo had seven punctures and a broken pelvis. She’s still dealing with post-traumatic stress.
“It made me so mad to think my dog didn’t have to die,” Carlee Kerr said after Shouse commented on her Facebook post.
Both Kirkland Police and King County Animal Control are aware of the incidents, and both say they will investigate a possible connection.
The King County Sheriff’s Office tells KOMO News a dog attack in the county is typically a civil infraction. A first offense can earn an owner a $500 fine and an order of confinement for the dog, meaning it can only go out in public with a muzzle and 8-foot leash. However, an owner who shows repeated negligence can face a felony charge.
If you have any information about these attacks, Kirkland Police ask you send an email to JMcClain@kirklandwa.gov.