Local News

Dog attacked at off-leash pet park in Raleigh

Posted November 11, 2013
Updated November 12, 2013

— Wake County animal control officers and Raleigh police are investigating the attack of a family pet at a city-owned dog park over the weekend.

Joan Troy says her 13-year-old Welsh Corgi, Lokey, had part of his scalp torn off Saturday when three young pit bulls attacked him while at Oakwood Dog Park near downtown Raleigh.

Holly Mohajer said she was at the park with her dogs when she heard Lokey screaming behind her, turned around and saw three dogs on top of him.

She and others tried to pull them apart.

"We were pulling on the dogs' tails and legs, taking a dog off, taking another dog off," she said. "Then, of course, one would get back on. It was just hard to control three attacking dogs."

"Finally two of them were pushed to the side and kept down, and there was one that had just latched hold of the back of Lokey's neck and would not let go," Mohajer added. "You know, you hear about that and hopefully you never have to witness it. It was horrible."

Two second-year veterinary students, who were at the park at the time, wrapped Lokey in a blanket and drove him to the North Carolina State University College of Veterinary Medicine, where he spent two days before being released Monday evening.

A Raleigh police spokesman said in a statement Sunday that no charges have been filed and that "no other action has been taken at this point in the investigation."

City Councilwoman Mary-Ann Baldwin, who heads the council's Law and Public Safety Committee, said Monday that she's waiting for a report from animal control and the city's Parks and Recreation Department before making any determination on whether to look at changing the city's policies regarding dog parks.

Oakwood Dog Park is one of three in Raleigh in which pets of all sizes and breeds can run without a leash once inside a gated area.

According to the city of Raleigh's website, each park, however, is "managed by volunteers and depend on responsible dog ownership and etiquette."

Those at Oakwood Dog Park Monday said it's up to each person to be responsible and do what's right.

"You just have to really watch your dog when you take them to that park," said dog owner Steve Mayberry. "You just can't go ahead and start looking at your phone or whatever. You do have to pay attention."


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  • lindseycom Nov 15, 2013

    Great park,great people been going there since 07. Thank goodness this doesn't happen alot. But it does happen,folks that obviously have no real control over there pets.

  • yesmilo Nov 15, 2013

    Interested Nurse,
    No one, including the owner, Raleigh police and animal control has denied that these were pits so it's puzzling that you think their breed is an issue. The real issue is the FACT that their owner negligently brought a "pack" of dogs that she couldn't or wouldn't control to the park, and that her failure to control them resulted in serious injury to another dog. The point of dog parks is to take dogs there, something that the corgi's owners have done for years, without incident. To assert that they were at fault for doing so is ridiculous. It's also equally idiotic to assert that the corgi's owner could have stopped the attack had she only been looking at him the moment the pits sprang. According to your logic, if a car runs a red light and hits me while I'm in the crosswalk, I'm at fault, not only for being in the crosswalk, but also for not seeing the car the moment it hit me. Oh, and most importantly, come on people, was it really a Ford?

  • taltroy Nov 15, 2013

    I'm not carrying a brief for (or against) pits. People can argue all they want about that. I'm just saying that the owner need to be in control, regardless of breed.

  • edtomjr Nov 15, 2013

    "Whether the dogs were pits bulls is less the issue"

    Not quite. There's a lot of ignorant anti-pit rhetoric going on here, and it stems from the fact that they point the breed out in the article. If they were not pit bulls, this article A) most likely wouldn't have been written or B) it would have been written without noting the description of the attacking dogs. Don't believe it, just search "dog attack" articles.

  • taltroy Nov 15, 2013

    It is also not helpful that you accuse Ms. Troy of not watching her dog. Attacks like these occur in an instant with the vicious dog locking its jaw onto the victim, regardless of how closely the victim’s owner is standing, something I’ve also seen plenty of times. (By the way, it was Ms. Mohajer who heard "screaming" and “turned around” to see Lokey being attacked and then helped save him. Perhaps you are well versed in what is and is not a pit bull, but the accounts of the people who were there are much more valuable than yours, especially when you obviously haven’t read the article carefully.)

  • taltroy Nov 15, 2013

    Whether the dogs were pits bulls is less the issue than is the fact that their owner was unable to control them. But your suggestion that Lokey should have been in the small dog section is no more helpful, because the attacking dogs, who were no larger than Lokey, would also be in the small dog section, presumably with many other even smaller dogs. I’ve been at that park many times and have seen “smaller” dogs attack “larger” dogs. In almost every case, the attacking dog’s owner quickly intervenes and either leaves with the attacking dog or continues to monitor until the boundaries are understood by both dogs.

  • InterestedNurse Nov 14, 2013

    We know these were "pit bulls" how? Did we see their ACK papers? Most of what people call "pit bulls" don't even have a stitch of pit in them. Wake up people. Both parties are at fault here. If you use a dog park use your head. Small/older dogs in the smaller section. Younger/rowdy dogs in the larger sections. WATCH your dogs...you shouldn't have to "turn around" because your dog is "screaming"...that means you were not watching. More importantly, know thy dog...regardless of breed. I have two hound mixes that tend to get "pack-ish" at dog parks so we stopped going. Bottom line...you cannot control who walks into the park and what types of temperament or training their dogs hves. Small, familiar play groups are best for dog socialization. If you can't take the FACTS surrounding this situation go ahead and flag my comment again, otherwise do your dogs a favor...cool it with the denial and educate yourselves.

  • Tickterd Nov 13, 2013

    Here's food for thought. In 2012, 19 children were killed by Pit Bulls. In 2011 (the most recent year I could find numbers) 1570 children were killed by parents or guardians due to abuse or neglect. A child is 80 times more likely to be killed by a parent or guardian than by a Pit Bull. Should we put all parents down in an effort to prevent these tragic deaths? Or perhaps we should be more humane and simply ban all parents from our communities.

  • Tickterd Nov 13, 2013

    I think many would be surprised to know which breed bites the most humans in the US each year. Ready? Golden Retrievers. Yet, you don't hear as much about Golden attacks as you do Pit attacks. - Tickterd

    Actually, that's not true. A lot of people like to say that, though.- Rescuefan

    True. I was jut trying to fit in by making up stuff and presenting it as fact.

  • orionsune2 Nov 13, 2013


    Except the data indicates exactly that. Most Pit Bull owners are more likely to participate in criminal behavior, and I think it's safe to assume that translates into the way they handle their dogs, and everything else in their lives, exactly as you described. I think this is 100% valid and actually at the heart of the matter. My conjecture is that this has become an iserue not because of the dog, but because of the way the person handles it. Django's response is an uninformed one because first i'm not anti-pitt and i'm breed neutral. Django also blatantly dissmisses scientific value that has been established for a century now. If I knew science were as easy as simply dismissing, disagreeing or making rhetorical I could have simply argued with my science teachers and receive top grades. Let's all simply disagree that gravity exists, yeah, then gravity will disappear right?