Shelby Mauldin was at the gated dog park area on Saturday with her husband, golden retriever, and 6-year-old labradoodle Maggie. The dogs in that specific play area can roam free without a leash. Mauldin said that Maggie was not on her leash and about five feet away from her when another dog with long black hair walked up next to them.
"A guy and two dogs walked up and one of the dogs went straight to Maggie, bit her head, and shook her. She died instantly," Mauldin recalled. "This dog did not look mean, it was not a pit bull, it was not your traditional angry-looking dog."
Mauldin said that she was in a state of shock as she held Maggie in her arms. She said there were no warning signs or signs of aggression before the dog attacked Maggie. She said the owner leashed up his two dogs and left.
Mauldin added that she was distraught over the situation and did not contact park police because she didn't have the owner's contact information. KENS 5 talked to Animal Care Services officer Joel Skidmore, who recommends trying to talk to the person whose animal started the attack to get their information or at least get the person's license plate number.
Officer Skidmore said that it's difficult to predict why the dog decided to attack Maggie.
"It's really unknown what caused this. Unless you were actually there to see what initiated it, what transpired, see the outcome of it, it's really hard to say," Skidmore explained.
Skidmore suggests that owners need to understand their animal's behavior and act accordingly.
"As a dog owner, you should always be aware of your dog. You should be aware if your dog has aggressive tendencies with other animals and, at that point, you should be more vigilant," Skidmore said.
As for Mauldin, she said that she's not going to take any chances in the future.
"I would not recommend going to a dog park," Mauldin said. "It was so tragic and so shocking. That one second she was here, and the next she's dead. It's going to take us awhile to get over it."