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Regina family forced to put dog to sleep after injury at dog park

Regina family forced to put dog to sleep after injury at dog park
Regina family forced to put dog to sleep after injury at dog park

What started out as a normal visit to the dog park turned into a tragic day for Nicole Fellner and her family after their two-year-old dog, Cooper, injured himself and had to be put down.

According to Fellner, the incident occurred Sunday in the dog off-leash area at Ross Industrial Park in Regina, which also has a stormwater retention pond.

She said Cooper was chasing a ball that rolled too far into the drainage area. Cooper caught her foot on a large rock, tripped and broke her spine.

Nicole Fellner says her dog was euthanized after sustaining injuries at a dog park in Regina that is also a stormwater retention pond. Fellner says the dog fractured his spine after tripping over one of the large rocks that were supposed to prevent flooding.

Nicole Fellner says her dog was euthanized after sustaining injuries at a Regina dog park that is also a stormwater retention pond. Fellner says the dog fractured his spine after tripping over one of the large rocks that were supposed to prevent flooding. (Kirk Fraser/CBC)

Cooper was rushed to a vet, but the family had to put her to sleep.

According to Fellner, the hardest part is watching her daughter grieve the loss.

“I had to explain to my five-year-old son what death meant and why our dog wouldn’t come with us to the dog park,” she said. “It was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do.”

LISTEN | Regina family warns others about dangers at local dog park:

Fellner said her family has contacted the city about the incident, but has not gotten past the front desk. So far, the family has only been given a case number, she said.

Fellner said she wants to talk to the city to find ways to ensure other dogs and their owners don’t have to go through the same thing.

“I have a lot of ideas that I would like to share with them. If they would take the time to talk to me, that would be great,” she said.

She said removing large boulders from the park would be a start.

An X-ray shows damage to Cooper’s spine.

An X-ray shows damage to Cooper’s spine. (Submitted by Nicole Fellner)

CBC News reached out to the City of Regina about the incident. In an email response, the city offered its condolences to the family and said the rocks are used to help prevent flooding. The statement added that an investigation will be conducted.

“We thank the resident for sharing information about the incident with the municipality. At the same time, we want to assure residents that we take these types of matters seriously and will evaluate the park to determine if additional safety measures are needed,” the statement said.

Fellner said she is warning other property owners about the area and hopes they will be careful when visiting the area.

“I know (dog parks) are designed to be safe places for dogs. They’re not always as safe as they seem. Just take extra care,” she said.