Louise and Peggy Olson in Washington Square Park Dog Run before attack

“Vicious” Dog Against Dog Attack in Washington Square Park Dog Run | Louise, Dog Attacked, Now Recovering

Louise Natalie Meg, attacked Washington Square Park Dog Run
Louise with Meg and Natalie who were with her when attack happened at Washington Square Park Dog Run

How safe is the Washington Square Park Dog Run?

From the inbox:

On Thursday, Jan. 7, my dog Louise, an eight-year-old, nine-pound Brussels Griffon, was viciously attacked in the Washington Square Dog Run. It happened around lunch time.

We rushed Louise to to the nearby vet who sent us to BluePearl where she was rushed into emergency surgery.

We are fortunate that she survived, but we are facing a long road to recovery; Louise has lost the sight in one eye and is recuperating at home with me – still with stitches on her face and wearing a cone until at least the end of this month. She requires hand feeding and loads of medication and follow ups.

I’m trying to track down the dog that attacked her. It was a shepherd mix with a large mole above its eye. Another woman at the park that day who owned a Brussels Griffon named Peggy Olson seemed to know this dog.

Any help you may be able to provide in terms of getting the word out would be much appreciated. I really don’t want this to happen to another animal. The dog that attacked was completely unprovoked. It is taking quite a bit of effort on my behalf to begin to recover from the trauma.

Louise and Peggy Olson in Washington Square Park Dog Run before attack
Louise and Peggy Olson in Washington Sq Park Dog Run before attack

Louise, in plaid, is pictured above with another dog, Peggy Olson, right, both Brussels Griffons, before the attack.

There are two dog runs in Washington Square Park: the large dog run and a small dog run. This attack happened in the large dog run where small dogs are allowed. The dog runs are overseen by an independent entity, the Washington Square Dog Run. They have rules as to what happens if a dog is being aggressive or attacks another dog which requires community-policing.

Natalie Hope McDonald, Louise’s owner-guardian, is trying to find the dog who attacked Louise which she describes as “a shepherd mix with a large mole above its eye.” She wants to prevent something like this happening again. Natalie said “the attack was completely unprovoked”; she believes this dog was with a dog walker. Louise is now on a “long road to recovery” after her emergency surgery.

Louise dog at Caffe Reggio prior to attack dog run
Louise at Caffe Reggio prior to the attack

Wishing the best to Louise on her recovery!

Have you seen the dog described? What has your experience been in the Washington Square Park Dog Run?

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Photos courtesy of Natalie Hope MacDonald

9 thoughts on ““Vicious” Dog Against Dog Attack in Washington Square Park Dog Run | Louise, Dog Attacked, Now Recovering

  1. Can you provide more detail on color and size of dog? “shepherd” is pretty general. I walk my dog in the park every day and know of a few shepherd-like dogs. A few things about the park: 1. Many people in the dog run don’t pay any attention to what their dogs are doing. I stopped bringing my last dog to the run because of this. 1. Small dogs shouldn’t be allowed in the big dog run. Large dogs with prey drive could easily hurt small dogs plus when the big dogs are running around its easy for the small dogs to get underfoot and get injured. There’s a small dog run for a reason. 3. The number of unleashed dogs especially in the morning had been increasing. My current dog is dog aggressive towards smaller dogs and I’ve had several incidents where unleashed dogs have run up to mine.

    I hope Louise has a quick recovery.

  2. Does the park have security cameras that are pointed toward the dog run maybe they would have video on file so that you can capture an image of the dog that attacked . I know over in Tompkins Square many years back there had to separate dog areas one for the small dogs and one for the larger dogs I don’t know if they have that anymore .Maybe that should be considered .

  3. I agree with Angela. Small dogs are allowed in the Large Dog Run but it’s not the best idea to bring them there. If a small dog gets into a fight with another small dog there’s usually a limit to how much damage one can inflict on the other. To make matters worse, small dogs often see larger dogs as a challenge.

    Dog toys at the run are definitely a problem. My previous dog, a pit bull, got into a fight with a French Bulldog who stole his ball. My dog was left with a permanent scar on his leg but I’m thankful neither dog suffered anything worse. By comparison, the small dog run doesn’t seem to have any toys or balls.

    There are always people there who break the rules by bringing too many dogs at a time, or fail to supervise their dogs while they’re there. The rules say no more than three dogs but dog walkers will sometimes bring as many as five. I’ve seen dogs “parked” there or left alone for an hour or more.

    If the shepherd mix was with a dog walker there’s a fair chance some of the “regulars” know who this person is. I’d suggest Ms McDonald visit the dog run, around the same time as the attack, to see if the dog or the dog walker is there. Many of the dog walkers know one another and use the dog run on a daily basis.

    • I wish I could visit the park – but I live in Philadelphia. We regularly visit the park when we are in NY, but I’m pretty much working from home and taking care of Louise. I really appreciate the help.

  4. I would normal NEVER allow my dog in the large dog run – but there were mostly small dogs there that day, including a French Bulldog and other Brussels Griffon. When large dogs began showing up that’s when we packed up to leave. Louise was already on her leash when it happened. The shepherd mix was a sandy color with a black mole over its eye. I should add that so many kind people tried to help. We truly appreciated it.

  5. I am on the board of directors of the Washington Square Park Dog Run Association. We are of course devastated that Louise was injured. To the best of my knowledge we rarely have injuries this serious. But even one is too many.

    When Natalie contacted me directly, I immediately send a message out to our email list of 600+ dog owners asking for information/witnesses. We did not receive any leads, unfortunately.

    I will post signs in the run asking for information and forward it immediately should I get any responses. I can be reached at [email protected]

    Lots of love and healing to Louise and Natalie.

  6. I hate when dogs get hurt! So sorry, so heartbreaking to see them in pain. It’s every dog owner’s nightmare.

    There is inherent risk in letting dogs play together, we should be carful to make this about one dog (even well trained dogs are sometimes unpredictable), or about all small dogs in the big dog run – most of the time it works fine. Finding this one dog does not eliminate the risk. We can remain vigilant, try to make sure the owner knows the event occurred, and try to support the injured party.

    If covering the vet expenses is part of the issue, I bet many of us would contribute.

  7. As a founding member of dog runs in NYC and in particular in Washington Sq Park, I’ve been around and seen a lot in all these decades…including dog on dog attacks. The reason there is the Robin Kovary dog run for small dogs (Robin was my best friend) is to prevent these types of attacks. USE THE SMALL DOG RUN folks!

    Also carry spray. It can be anything from plain old vinegar to pepper spray to bear spray but have a way to protect yourself and your dog!

    Additionally there are cameras in the park. Get the police to release the tapes from that day and you can post the woman and her dog’s photos all over the place..you will find her.

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