An animal control officer from Surrey, B.C., required emergency surgery after being pinned to the ground and attacked by a loose dog.
The vicious attack happened around 3:30 p.m. Tuesday as the officer attended a call about a husky that escaped by jumping a backyard fence.
The officer tracked down the dog but when she approached the animal, it attacked.
Nearby neighbours heard the officer’s screams, but couldn’t immediately help the injured woman.
“We’d originally heard the dog barking and yipping, and then we heard a woman screaming that she needs help, someone call an ambulance,” neighbour Candice Townschon told CTV Vancouver.
“No one could see her or get to her because this dog was still in the backyard.”
A neighbour called 911 and emergency crews rushed to the scene. The officer was located in the backyard and brought to paramedics, but her injuries were severe. She suffered serious injuries to her hand and arm and underwent surgery on Tuesday night.
“I saw her when the fireman carried her out. And they took off her jacket and I guess she lay down and she was screaming in pain,” Townschon said.
Once the officer was safe, officers went into the backyard to retrieve the dog. The animal was voluntarily surrendered to officials and euthanized.
There were no previous reported issues with the dog, officials said.
Surrey bylaws manager Jas Rehal asserted that the incident was quite unusual.
“Attacks like this are very, very rare. I can’t recall an attack like this on one of our officers,” Rehal said.
Neighbours in the area expressed concern for everyone involved.
“Well this is very, very bad. I feel so sorry for the dog and also the owners,” neighbour Gurdev Pooni said.
The officer remained in hospital Wednesday evening. The City of Surrey says the incident is being reviewed.
With file from CTV Vancouver