FRAMINGHAM (CBS) – Doggy disputes aren’t unusual amid the tail-wagging at Callahan State Park, the only spot in Framingham where dog owners are allowed to let their pets run off-leash.
Sunday, a 2-year-old black lab mix attacked and killed a 16-year-old Shih Tzu.
“We can’t sit back and let tragedies like this happen,” Framingham City Councilor Adam Steiner said about the incident.
Ekaterina Pereira-Hancock saw the lab mix attack the Shih Tzu. “He sniffed the other little white dog and grabbed him and started shaking him like a rag,” Pereira-Hancock said.
The lab mix had attacked another small dog minutes before and its owner was assuring everyone within earshot that his unleashed dog was not a threat.
“I honestly feel like this is something that could have been preventable,” Pereira-Hancock said.
Police say the incident is not a criminal matter. But the owner of the black lab mix has already agreed to have his dog euthanized after getting a citation for not having it licensed.
“We need to have every dog owner that comes here 100% accountable for their dog,” said Lisa Alcione, who frequently brings her dog to Callahan State Park.
Some regulars say the owner got off too easy and wonder out loud what would’ve happened if his dog had targeted a child. But they fear a knee-jerk reaction to mandatory leashing park-wide.
“I just don’t want people to think that this is a bad place to bring your dog, this is a beautiful place to bring your dogs,” Lisa said.
“The bottom line is we can’t do nothing. Doing nothing is not an option here,” Adam Steiner said.
Framingham City Councilor Adam Steiner is suggesting more oversight by DCR Rangers and perhaps mandatory training and vetting for dog owners, even those who insist their dogs play well with others.
“We have to make sure this doesn’t happen again,” Steiner said.
Still, almost everyone at the park hopes the tail-wagging continues, unleashed.
Police have declined to publicly name the dog owner, but witnesses identified him for us. We’ve reached out for his side of the story but he did not respond.