On Saturday July 30, an elderly woman suffered a serious dog bite – which required 30 stitches – while trying to break up a fight between her dog and a husky. We’re told the incident happened at 8:30 a.m. under a bench at the Riverside Park Dog Run at West 105th Street.
We have an image showing the extent of his injuries, although discretion is advised as it may be upsetting for some. Please click here if you would like to view.
She’s trying to make sure it doesn’t happen again, but the other dog’s owner would have been hard to find.
“Normally I don’t go to the dog pen,” said Joan Adler, 74, of West 108th Street. “It was hot that day, so I went to cool my dog with a hose.” Adler, a retiree with hip replacement surgery, told us she sat down to rest while her dog was off-leash in the dog pen.
“Around my waist I wear a small pouch with treats in it,” Adler described. “So I sat down, gave my dog a treat.” At this point, Adler noted that there were two other dogs, both off leashes, that approached her on the bench where she was sitting. One of them was a husky. Adler remembers giving the husky a treat as almost 2-year-old Bernedoodle went under the bench to play with a ball she had brought him.
“The next thing I knew I heard a commotion under me and it was this husky trying to get that ball out of my dog,” Adler said in distress, adding that the husky was “really attacking my dog”. Adler went to break the tangle by tugging on the husky’s harness, but then “the dog turned and bit me.” She started shouting “Catch the dog, catch the dog!” in desperation. Her dog suffered no injuries, as she was able to get him away in time.
Adler’s husband, who was with her at the dog park, was the first to point out how “mutilated” her arm looked from the bite. In the heat of the moment, she remembers seeing the owner of the husky on the other side of the dog park.
“There was no conversation in terms of offering help or concern,” Adler said. As they exited the dog pen, Adler recalled approaching the husky’s owner to ask if his dog had been vaccinated against rabies. “Without a doubt, he never offered any interest in my welfare.”
Adler recalls a heated dialogue with the husky owner as they both drove out of the park. The husky’s owner, a young man in his 20s or 30s, gave Adler his first name — Isaiah — and phone number. But he won’t divulge his last name.
Adler filed a police report, hoping this kind of attack doesn’t happen to anyone else, especially if the dog has a habit of biting people. Adler’s priority is to muzzle the husky.
A few days later, one of Adler’s friends, Darcy Dennett, texted him describing the same husky attacking another dog, a Basenji, at the same dog park. “The husky had its jaws around the Basenji’s neck and wouldn’t let go. I was afraid he would kill the dog,” Dennett wrote. “The [Basenji’s] owner was bitten while trying to separate the dogs. I believe the Basenji has not been neutered, which of course is also a problem.
In an attempt to track down the husky’s owner, Adler started a thread on Nextdoor telling his story. Currently there are over 280 comments, but no one has been able to identify it. Here’s the thread – although we should caution that the first image may upset some readers: https://nextdoor.com/p/JnsqXM2g5bMx/
Adler shared the husky’s owner’s phone number with ILTUWS. On Sunday, August 14, someone picked up the phone and said, “I think you got the wrong number” when we asked if we were talking to Isaiah. ILTUWS followed up with a text message explaining that we are investigating the incident and their input would be welcome.
Isaiah responded with this statement:
Hello – happy to provide the following:
It was a very unfortunate accident that happened and we hope for a speedy recovery. It’s always sad to see dogs set up for failure, especially when it can be avoided. There was unfortunately a high cost to this particular failure, but I don’t believe either dog is aggressive by nature. It is difficult to socialize a dog with resource guarding issues, especially in high energy environments when treats and/or toys are nearby. An over-stimulated dog can become unpredictable and, when provoked, may attack, resulting in fights. Unfortunately, in this particular case, my dog decided to fight back and a serious injury resulted. Dog bites are serious and, as all dog owners know, they are much more likely to happen if a limb is caught between two fighting dogs.
Our dog has a very gentle temperament and enjoys meeting adults, children and other dogs on a daily basis. We get great reports every day from the dog walker about his personality. After the incident we went back to the park to see if we could catch Joan to chat but instead I encountered a large group with many different talking points so I couldn’t relate what happened past. As a happy resident of the Upper West Side, we would never seek to upset the community. As such, we avoided Riverside Park out of respect for Joan’s request not to bring my dog there. He continues to be a happy boy who enjoys meeting new dogs, and I’m confident an incident like this will never happen again.
When asked to provide his last name, Isaiah did not respond.
ILTUWS was able to trace the phone number to Isaiah Mendoza. A Facebook profile picture shows the same person as the person in the photos shared with us.
When asked if Mendoza was his last name, Isaiah did not answer.