Local News

Washington state park closed after dog attacks

parkWHIDBEY ISLAND — Fort Ebey State Park, a 645-acre state park on Whidbey Island, remained closed Wednesday after two “aggressive, unattended” dogs attacked park hikers, Washington state park officials reported.

According to officials, the unattended dogs were discovered in the park on Dec. 11, but officials had trouble catching them. The park remained closed Wednesday as the search for the dogs continued.

“At this time, rangers and county animal control officers are working to confirm the location of the dogs and place them under control,” officials said in a release. “Until this occurs, the park will remain closed.”

The Whidbey News Times reported that the dogs attacked two hikers on Tuesday. An Oak Harbor resident and a friend were on a hike in the park when two dogs, both without collars, ran up to them. The dogs repeatedly growled and charged the pair, the News Times reported. The dogs bit one of the hikers and the other hiker was forced to run into a nearby bathroom.

When a park ranger spotted the dogs later on, he was forced to jump back into his vehicle and retreat when the dogs charged him, the News Times reported.

A park ranger told the News Times that it’s not unheard of for people to abandon their pets at the park.


15 Comments to “Washington state park closed after dog attacks”

    dawn said:
    December 12, 2012 at 9:14 PM

    scary and sad

    Citizen98107 said:
    December 12, 2012 at 9:55 PM

    I guess this is one reason why some folks carry a hand gun.

      WhidbeyOpenCarry said:
      December 13, 2012 at 3:27 AM

      Exactly. A 911 operator on a cell phone cannot help you when an angry dog is gnawing on your leg NOW. Only YOU can protect YOU.

      cronewinter said:
      December 14, 2012 at 7:59 AM

      I don't carry a gun but my dog and I never go hiking without a bear strength pepper spray. I realize it probably wouldn't help in a bear attack but I'm pretty sure it would do the job on smaller animals and humans. At least I hope so because I will always hike and walk with my dogs.

        Bill said:
        December 14, 2012 at 8:20 AM

        I watched a Portland cop pepper spray an aggressive dog six times and it had very little effect. I wouldn't count on that pepper spray. Have you thought about what would happen If the wind is blowing your way? Now you're blind and have an aggressive dog to deal with.

    Taekov Yahoser said:
    December 13, 2012 at 1:25 AM

    So Park rangers aren't armed?

      Mark said:
      December 13, 2012 at 9:00 AM

      Yeah, but like the police, they're minutes (and sometimes hours) away when seconds count.

      Daniel said:
      December 13, 2012 at 10:46 AM

      Used to be, not so much, and was voluntary. But nowadays it is required, and they are in fact law enforcement officers, which is a detail many folks are unaware of. But in this case perhaps there was too much risk of hitting a bystander downrange etc. Also, it is commonly reported that a "Ranger" did something when in fact it was park support staff.

      Diane said:
      December 14, 2012 at 8:44 AM

      I'm shocked the ranger didn't have a weapon…at least some pepper spray that he could have used.

    syahj04 said:
    December 13, 2012 at 9:10 AM

    Gun contol at work again. LMAO OH darn I am in trouble, call 911 and wait for help that may not come in time before i get killed. Get a clue people buy a gun and learn to use it. The dogs would not be a threat to anyone again.

    immaannoid said:
    December 13, 2012 at 11:08 AM

    Why catch them. Shoot and be done.

    Lordbinder said:
    December 13, 2012 at 2:22 PM

    woof woof growl growl … Bang Bang _done

    Eric said:
    December 15, 2012 at 7:03 AM

    I think dogs running at large is not the root of the problem. Its the dog owners who have no consideration for the public.

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