CALGARY – It will take Priyanka Walhe as long to heal the emotional trauma as the physical injuries after the international student was viciously bitten by a hyper-aggressive dog in a city she moved to just six months ago.
“I cannot put into words what kind of pain I am going through and I am currently experiencing the trauma,” Walhe said in an interview with CTV News. “Whenever I see a dog, I start to cry, if I come across a dog, I start to cry.”
At around 10:30 p.m. on July 13, Walhe had just got off the bus after work and was walking home on Castleglen Road NE when she said she saw a dog chasing a cat in the distance.
Moments later she said the dog attacked her. Walhe said the dog wouldn’t let go of her arm.
“I’ve never seen a dog this aggressive,” said Walhe. “He wasn’t ready to leave my hand. He just chewed everything and pulled my hand – it’s awful. “
Walhe said she yelled for help and she says that eventually someone came out of the dog owner’s house and grabbed the dog. She said it was another neighbor who helped her back to her own house and called 911.
“The worst,” she said, “is that nobody from the dog owner’s house has come to see me, which is awful.”
Walhe suffered several large cuts on her arm that exposed tissue, had surgery and dozens of stitches.
Walhe said she filed a complaint with the city and the police.
An online fundraiser was launched to support Walhe, who just moved to Calgary from India six months ago to attend school at SAIT.
The 27-year-old said this was a difficult experience for a newcomer to manage without family support, trying to navigate a new health and police system.
“When something like this happens, you think I think you are better in your own country because you are surrounded by your family members and your own contacts, right?”
The City of Calgary said an investigation is ongoing.
Brad Johnson, inspector for the Calgary Community Standards Animal Services, said officials have not yet been able to track down the dog or its owner.
Johnson said they are still collecting information about the incident and are unable to confirm the breed of the animal.
Multiple charges are possible in the event of such an incident.
Johnson said dog bites are usually a one-time incident and the public is unlikely to be concerned. Calgarians are urged not to approach a dog when it is alone and to contact the 311.
Dog owners are encouraged to be vigilant and keep their pets on a leash unless they are in a designated off-leash area.