"WE ALMOST THREW UP WE WERE SO SCARED."
OKANAGAN – Four friends from Kelowna were driving on Road 22 in Oliver last Friday night when they saw something they couldn’t believe: A puppy, less than two months old, being pulled behind a moving vehicle.
“It was one of those really small lane roads,” says one of the women, who for safety reasons doesn't want her identity made public. ”The puppy was stumbling and we saw a kid in the back seat holding a rope.”
The rope was tied to a six to eight-week-old Red Heeler that was trying his best to keep up with the vehicle, which the witness says was going five to ten kilometres per hour. It was driven by a young woman with two kids in the back.
The friends, who were on a wine tour weekend around the south Okanagan, pulled in front of the SUV, forcing it to stop.
“I was in the front seat and (the driver of our vehicle) gets out, we had no idea what was going to happen,” she says. “I thought she was going to yell at her, but the next thing I know she’s jumped out of the car, unhooked the puppy and dropped it on my lap.”
They were about to leave when the other driver got out of her car and walked towards them.
“She said ‘that’s my dog, I wasn’t going very fast,'" says the witness.
After exchanging words the four women drove away with the puppy in the lap of the woman sitting in the passenger seat.
"He was just crying, crying, crying and licking the blood off me," she says. "All four of his paws were bleeding and the dewclaws were pulled right back."
A vet at South Valley Veterinary Hospital examined the dog that night and although he determined stitches weren't necessary, significant damage had been done.
“The pads of his feet were just raw and there was blood dripping from every single one of his nails,” she says. “He just cried and cried.”
The next day someone posted a picture of the puppy to a Facebook page dedicated to missing dogs in the Okanagan, claiming they were assaulted by three women who stole their dog and the online reaction was swift and brutal.
“All these people started saying they were going to come looking for us and there was a description of the vehicle and what we were wearing. We were terrified," she says. “We almost threw up we were so scared."
The women called RCMP and eventually got their side of the story on the Facebook posting. They also recommended they call the SPCA which is investigating.
She also says the dog's original owners called the vet where the puppy, now called Vino, was treated. According to the witness, she demanded to know where their dog was.
“The vet refused and said he would support charges against them and she hung up,” she says. “She wouldn’t give any more information about the dog or what had happened. We don’t even know what (Vino's) original name is.”
One of the four women, who has since agreed to keep Vino, says the otherwise healthy dog had a hard time walking for the first couple days but is recovering well. She has licenced the dog and is planning to neuter him as soon as he's old enough.
“He is such a sweet little dog,” she says. “When a puppy bleeds on you and then licks the blood off, you’re changed a little bit.”
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— This story was edited at 2:24 p.m. June 17 to remove a link.
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