By Tim Kalinowski on July 28, 2021.
Creekside Goat Company owner Robert Finck is asking Lethbridge residents to be more aware he has goats working in certain areas of the city, and to keep their dogs under control and on leash in city parks, after a large husky attacked two of his goats in Indian Battle Park on Tuesday, causing serious injuries to one.
“If we are going to share the park together, I am hoping we can all be on leashes, and keep your dogs at bay,” he told The Herald Tuesday afternoon. “We are happy to share with everybody. But it’s tough to lose our livelihoods because dogs are unleashed.”
Finck credited his herder, John Little, for scaring off a big dog which “came out of nowhere” to attack his herd.
“We never saw an owner,” Finck said. “The dog had kind of a halter on around his chest with a lead rope on it. It was running loose. I don’t know whose it was or where it came from. It was running around and it was a husky dog, pretty big, and he was taking easy pickin’s.”
Usually when out in the countryside or in wilder parks working on invasive weeds like leafy spurge, Finck employs large guardian dogs to keep coyotes and other predators away from his goats. He made a conscious choice not to do that in Indian Battle Park.
“Guardian dogs are a two-edged sword,” he explained. “If my guardian dog jumps into the wrong dog, and got in a fight with somebody on a leash, and hurt something, I could just as easily get sued with that than I am to take a loss (of a goat). Indian Battle is so busy, we took the chance to go without a guardian dog because the chance of conflict is quite large. I try to take the higher road. And if I take a little bit of a loss it is better than having a huge fight with somebody if their dogs got a little aggressive and my dogs got into it.”
Finck said this is the first time he has had this type of problem in Indian Battle Park, but it could have been much worse if his herder hadn’t scared off the dog. The one goat only had minor injuries which were treated at the scene, but the other one is a little more touch and go at this point, he admitted.
“I think he will make it,” Finck said.
“I brought him home and he is in shock. He has got big puncture wounds in him and a skin gash. (The dog) got into him pretty good, but I am able to sew him up and doctor him, and we will have to see how he does.
“With that much stress, I can’t guarantee how he will come out of it. But I was able to get him home and work on him.”
Finck said he and his crew enjoy working in the City of Lethbridge, and he chalks this incident up to an unfortunate circumstance.
“We are so happy to be in Lethbridge,” he stated. “They have treated us great. We are doing more and more work all the time. Things happen. But if everybody could be aware to help us out that would be awesome.”
The City of Lethbridge released a statement Tuesday afternoon which confirms it will be adding additional bylaw enforcement officers at Indian Battle Park after this incident who will be issuing tickets to any dog owners who are not properly respecting local leash bylaws.
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