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UPDATE: has spoken with one of the owners of the pit bull involved in the incident, who declined to be named. The story has been updated to include his version of the events as he claims they unfolded.

FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. — A man in Fort St. John is concerned about the public’s safety after his dogs got into an altercation with at least one other dog earlier this week.

Kevin Sparling explained that he was out for a jog with his two dogs near Toboggan Hill Park at around 5:00 p.m. on Monday. Sparling said that while he was jogging, two pit bulls ran at him from an open garage. He said that the dogs ran straight at his cocker spaniel and began biting it. Sparling said that he sustained several dog bites to his hands when he attempted to stop the pit bulls attacking his dogs, and claims that his dog had sustained a puncture wound to his stomach.

Sparling immediately spoke with the pit bulls’ owners, who he said were immediately apologetic. “The owner said that they [the pit bulls] have never done this before,” said Sparling. “That’s fine, I didn’t want any harm to come to the dogs. Dogs are unpredictable, I understand that. But, I’m a grown man, what if it was a little kid walker their dog? They wouldn’t know what to do.”

Meanwhile, the pit bull’s owner spoke with, and refuted several of Sparling’s claims. The owner said that only one of his dogs was involved in the incident. He said that his dog, which was off-leash, left the open garage and simply walked up to Sparling and his dogs out of curiosity. When the pit bull and the spaniel greeted each other, the two dogs got into an altercation. The pit bull’s owner claims that he ran out and yelled at his dog, who he said immediately stopped engaging and ran back into the house.

The owner said that he apologized to Sparling profusely for his lapse in judgement in having his dog off-leash in the open garage. He said that Sparling mentioned to him that his two dogs had been in an altercation several days prior, which he said could have contributed to the incident. Sparling did confirm that his dogs had been in another altercation recently.

The other owner also claimed that the cuts on Sparling’s hand were a result of being bitten by his smaller dog, since the cuts he sustained were too small to have been caused by a pit bull.

The City’s Director of Protective Services Jim Rogers said that bylaw officers spoke with both Sparling and the pit bull’s owners after the incident. Rogers said that the officer issued the pit bull’s owners with a written warning, which was concluded to the satisfaction of both parties. “I didn’t want any repercussions for the dogs, other than for the owners to be more responsible,” said Sparling.

Sparling added that his cocker spaniel is recovering at home, and luckily did not need any veterinary care.

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