City spokeswoman Farnaz Farrokh says the woman, who is in her 70s, was walking her Yorkie in a laneway on Aug. 20 when a pit bull suddenly emerged from a nearby property and attacked the much smaller dog.
Farrokh says the woman had to be taken to hospital because she suffered serious injuries to her hand when she got between the dogs to separate them.
The Yorkie was taken to a veterinary hospital and kept overnight, but Farrokh says the owner has reported that it is still bleeding and in pain more than a week after the incident.
The city says in a release that an investigation is now underway and serious actions are being considered against both the pit bull and its owner.
Farrokh says no decisions about the dog’s future or any changes to the city’s bylaws will be made until the investigation is complete.
The release says White Rock’s bylaw enforcement officers have deemed the animal to be aggressive.
“Aggressive behaviour by dogs against people and other animals is a serious threat to public safety and will not be tolerated,” Dan Bottrill, the city’s chief administration officer, says in a statement.
He adds that the city knows most dog owners are responsible, so it’s unfortunate that such an incident has occurred.
Farrokh says dog attacks are rare in the suburban Vancouver city, and that most pet owners are conscientious about keeping their animals on leash in public spaces.
She says the city is urging people who own dogs with aggressive tendencies to be vigilant, keep their dogs on leashes at all times and use extra caution when they’re on a trail or in an off-leash dog park.