A walk along the Greenbelt in Ann Morrison Park Monday afternoon quickly turned chaotic for one local couple when an unrestrained dog lunged aggressively at their own pups — frightening their new foster dog.
The foster dog, a 2-year-old Labrador mix named Kira, was on two leashes. But she was able to pull away from Taylor Montes as Montes turned her attention to protecting her miniature pinscher-dachshund, Brutus.
Kira dove into the Boise River to get away. Montes saw the dog swept downstream into rapids.
“I think my heart probably broke at that moment,” she recalled. “I didn’t think she made it because I didn’t think a human could make it.”
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Montes and her boyfriend, Michael Ryne, said they believe the aggressive dog that started the whole mess had a leash on — but no one holding it.
“If she’d had some grip on that leash, none of this would have happened,” Ryne said, referring to the person with the other dog. “She had no control, and for that reason the entire situation spun out of control.”
Unrestrained dogs have caused some serious heartache in Boise over the past few days.
On Friday, an unleashed dog at Quinn’s Pond mauled a much smaller dog, delivering fatal injuries. The owner of the Malamute-shepherd mix that attacked the miniature Yorkshire terrier was cited for “dog at large” and having a nuisance dog.
One local animal welfare advocate says off-leash dogs cause problems daily in the city, though most situations don’t end in death or a plunge into the river.
“We see situations like this all the time,” said Allison Maier, a spokeswoman for the Idaho Humane Society. “Even if you know your dog really well, you could still be really surprised by their behavior. You’re making your own dog vulnerable to other dogs when you don’t have them under control.”
The good news: Kira, the foster dog, made it across the river.
The bad news: The dog is still missing.
She was last seen running through ball fields on the east side of Ann Morrison Park Monday afternoon. Her foster parents, who had only had her two days, aren’t sure how she crossed back over to the park side of the river.
They spent Tuesday looking for her in hopes of bringing her home — for good. Part of the reason Kira was in foster care was to help with trusting people, and she had shown great progress in only a couple of days, Montes said.
“After what she went through, we want to spend the rest of her life spoiling her,” Montes said. “And make sure nothing like this will ever happen again.”
Maier said no citations have been issued to the owner of the loose dog at Ann Morrison.