A veterinary hospital on Vancouver Island is warning owners of water-loving dogs to keep their pets on a short leash if otters are nearby.
A Facebook post from the Kindred Spirits Veterinary hospital in Victoria says vet Claudia Campbell’s golden retriever, Goldie, was with a dog walker on a popular Victoria beach on Tuesday.
The post says the nearly 30-kilogram dog bounded into the water to play and was quickly attracted to something swimming nearby.
It turned out the swimmers were actually three river otters and they turned on Goldie, pulling her underwater.
By the time the dog walker could intervene, the Facebook post says the dog’s nose was barely showing above the water as the otters continued to drag and bite at her.
Goldie was pulled to safety, suffering only minor injuries, and although the dog walker was wet and cold, he was unhurt.
“As much fun as it is to watch otters running along the beach, swimming, and playing, they are not the kind of creature you want to meet in a dark alley,” the post says.
The veterinary hospital urges pet owners to watch for otters while walking near the ocean and keep dogs on leash if they are spotted.
The Capital Regional District website says river otters, a relative of the weasel family, are relatively common along the Victoria waterfront and while they appear playful, they may attack if threatened.
The Canadian Press