TOPEKA, Kan Saturday's Saint Patrick's Day parade wasn't all fun and games, a family's dog was killed in a horrific incident.
Curtiss Chase, the owner of the teacup poodle named Toby, says he and his dog were sitting enjoying the parade at 10th and Jackson with his two grandsons. Chase said he had Toby on a leash as his poodle walked around his feet.
He told 13 news that around 12:30 in the afternoon, a German Shephard from the "Saving Death Row Dogs" group lunged at his poodle, viciously biting its head and crushing its skull.
Chase said he had to open the German Shepard's jaw to try and grab Toby out of his mouth. Toby died before ever getting to a vet.
Sunday, Chase and his family held a ceremony for Toby.
"We feel very distraught for the family," said Jan Price, the director from Saving Death Row Dogs. "We are made up of all experienced volunteers, however they are not professionally trained. We feel terrible and shocked by the situation. We didn't take into consideration that spectators would have dogs run out to our dogs."
"This has never happened since our organization started 4 years ago. If there was any possibility of anything happening, we wouldn't have been in the parade. We will start to look closer at everything we do. I personally do not want to do the parade again. We do this because we love dogs," she added.
Linda Halford from Animal Control said a mandatory court date is pending in Topeka Municipal Court to see if there is an ordinance violation.
UPDATE: On Wednesday, Saving Death Row Dogs sent us the following statement:
We want to extend our deepest sympathies to all parties involved in this past weekend’s tragic event. Although our volunteers are not certified dog trainers, they are given instructions and guidelines about the dog they are holding. In planning for the parade we discussed the dogs we would be taking but we never thought about spectator dogs that might be allowed to come into the path of the parade. We are deeply changed by this event and our hearts and prayers go out to all of those affected.
Posted by: Lindsay Sax