Wilbraham woman looking for answers after dog ‘viciously attacked’ on hiking trail

Hampden County

WILBRAHAM, Mass. (WWLP) – A Wilbraham woman wants help finding the dogs that viciously attacked her dog on a hiking trail in town. 

Jake’s owners want justice for Jake, and reimbursement for nearly $3,000 in vet bills.

It’s been nearly a month since Jake was attacked while hiking with his owner at the Rice Nature Preserve trail. Jake’s owner, Lee Ann Gale said, two unleashed dogs, weighing about 60 pounds, viciously attacked him.

Related: Wilbraham animal control looking to identify dogs involved in alleged attack

Gale told 22News she believes the two dogs live in Hampden, and she wants to save other owners from having to experience the terror and trauma she and Jake endured.

“I want people to be safe,” Gale said. “I don’t want them to go through what I went through. It was horrendous. I want the towns to be safe and I want the towns to take responsibility for bringing this to closure.”

22News found out a detective from the Hampden Police Department is now assisting Wilbraham in this investigation. 

“There’s a suspicion the attacking dogs reside in Hampden, but there’s been no positive proof of that,” said Hampden Town Administrator Mary McNally “So, there can be no action taken until those dogs are identified.”

Since the attack, Jake has undergone two surgeries and multiple visits to the vet.

The Wilbraham Selectboard discussed Jake’s attack during a hearing last week.

22News will continue to follow this story.

Web Extra: Lee Ann describes the attack:

On A beautiful fall Sunday morning, (between 9:30 and 10:30) September 30th, 2018, with my coffee in hand, which I had just purchased at Rice’s, my dog and I were hiking the UnderPeak Trail at Rice’s Nature Preserve. I have hiked this trail countless times, as has my husband. On this morning two orange/copper colored, short hair smooth, muscular, medium sized hunting looking, Vizsla style, dogs, one larger than the other, wearing orange/red collars came, without barking, and pack mentality, ran down the ravine from the Burleigh Road, Hampden side, of the Preserve. These dogs caused me to fall in the mud, and while my dog was still on the leash, on the marked trail, viscously attacked my dog, tearing open his left underside. The Surgical Vet, at Boston Road Animal Hospital sad that it was a particularly concerning wound because it was not just a puncture wound, but an actual ripping open of the skin. He wondered what was being done to find the attack dogs? After I stood up I grabbed a tree branch and started screaming like some mad women and hitting at the dogs. My dog was on the bottom. Somehow I managed to end up between my dog and these two attack dogs. The dogs seemed to be retreating when one turned around and headed back towards me snarling, while the other remained half facing me and half towards the ravine. I was now screaming in a loud shrill and waving the large branch causing pain to my left shoulder. I could not even address my dog’s situation until I managed to get the two viscous dogs to retreat, which they eventually did. They headed back up the ravine towards the Burleigh Road, Hampden side of the Preserve. I was in a state of shock getting my dog up to the top of the Preserve and then down. This was was a nightmarish experience.

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