Clifford Overton shows his wounds following a recent dog attack. Photo by Mike Chouinard

Clifford Overton shows his wounds following a recent dog attack. Photo by Mike Chouinard

Elderly Comox man recovering from dog attack

The town has investigated and deemed the animal to be a ‘vicious’ dog

A ninety-one-year man is recovering after a vicious dog attack in Comox.

Cliff Overton makes a habit of going for evening walks in the neighbourhood around his Comox Avenue condominium to help him recover from hip surgery.

On the evening of Saturday, July 31, he had started walking down Ellis Street when he found himself under attack. He didn’t know what had happened but attempted to pull himself up by grabbing the stop sign pole.

“I was just a few feet down Ellis when all of a sudden, I was going down…. I didn’t even know I’d been attacked,” he said. “I knew I had to get help.”

A boy nearby started to intervene and grabbed the dog, which gave him the chance to get to his feet and probably saved him from worse injuries.

“He got a hold of the dog. Otherwise, the dog might have killed me,” he said.

The incident was jarring, and as Overton was attacked from behind, he’s not sure what motivated the dog. “I’m saying to myself, ‘What lit the dog’s fuse?’”

He spent about four hours that evening in hospital to be treated for his injuries, which included puncture wounds on his left arm and some injuries to his right arm. He also received scrapes and bruises from sticking his arms out to brace his fall and landing on his knees.

He had his wounds bandaged and was given a tetanus shot. Since that time, he’s gone back to have dressing changed and has required antibiotics to fight infection.

There is speculation about the type of dog and whether it has any history of attacks, but no concrete information, beyond that it belongs to a man in the neighbourhood.

For now, Overton is a bit shaken by the incident, as are others who live in his building, he adds. He contacted the police, who have opened a file, but as of press time no charges have been laid.

The Town of Comox has confirmed that bylaw enforcement has looked into the matter and deemed the animal to be a “vicious dog.” This includes several definitions, including a dog that has killed or injured a person or domestic animal, except if the person was trespassing, committing a crime or being abusive to the dog.

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The designation means the owner must follow the clauses in the Dog License and Pound Bylaw No. 1322, meaning the dog must be leashed and muzzled at all times while in public to prevent it from biting another human or animal. Other conditions include fines for different offences or orders for the dog to undergo training or the owner to show proof of an enclosure if the animal is kept outside a residence.

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