Junior high school teacher and Airdrie resident Robert McKague never thought his Sunday bike ride would end in him suffering a severe concussion and having eight stitches, but unfortunately when the 62-year-old decided to use his brand new E-bike on Sunday afternoon that is exactly what happened.

"I bought my E-bike on Saturday and thought I'm going to discover some of the beauty of Airdrie and go around in exploring some of these paths bike pathways I've never seen before," he said. 

McKague said he was out riding his bike at around 4:15 in the afternoon in the area of the Sandstone off-leash dog park (located in Summerhill). It is a partially fenced-in area located on the pathway south of the third avenue to Sandstone Crescent between the residential area and QEII.

"As I was approaching this park on my E-bike, on the bike path, I encountered two males, caucasian, about 30 to 35 years of age and one had a white and brown dog. I can't really distinguish the breed but Husky[ish], stocky with a big head. [That dog] was very aggressive and the other male had a reddish dog."

McKague estimated he must have been approximately 60 feet away from the dogs and their owners as he was on the bike path and they were in a green area. As soon as he got closer, he observed that the white and brown dog became very aggressive and was barking.

"[The dog] very aggressively came after my bike and I was going eastbound on this bike path. I yelled at the owner, 'hey, get control of your dog' and no response from him whatsoever," he said. "It is in an off-leash park, [there is] still some degree of due diligence to have some control over your dog. Quite frankly, he had zero control over this dog. So the dog came right after me. I thought I could possibly outrun run it."

62-year-old Robert McKague recounted a dog attack to Discover Airdrie that happened over the weekend (Photo provided by Robert McKague)62-year-old Robert McKague recounted a dog attack to Discover Airdrie that happened over the weekend (Photo provided by Robert McKague)

McKague sped up on his E-bike and rounded a corner, but it was too late.

"The dog just basically attacked and I was knocked down. I crashed into a residential fence, which was adjacent to the bike path. I was unconscious and I was bleeding badly and the owner just left; he didn't even stick around."

Sometime later two younger men in their 20's came to help McKague and proceeded to call 9-11.

"The RCMP and the ambulance came and took me to the Airdrie Urgent Care Center. I sustained a severe concussion and eight stitches, and as you can see from the picture, I am quite a ripped-up. I've got bruises and abrasions throughout my body."

He did underline that most of his injuries resulted from the crash into the fence and the subsequent fall.

"The disappointing thing is the average person would stop and at least check on a person passed out, bleeding," he said. 

McKague said the RCMP did take his statement and today he spoke with Municipal Enforcement who is going to be looking for door cam footage. He said he is hopeful someone will recognize the dog owners.

"I walked back yesterday to look at the spot I crashed in and I saw a sign and it said 'Little Tykes Family Day home/Daycare' (62 Everglade Dr. SE) and I'm thinking, 'Oh my God, if you got a dog like this right outside of daycare, that's a risk!" 

Airdrie resident Robert McKague recounted a dog attack he suffered over the weekend (Photo provided by Robert McKague)Airdrie resident Robert McKague recounted a dog attack he suffered over the weekend (Photo provided by Robert McKague)

Airdrie RCMP did confirm that on Sunday, June 26 at approximately 4:46 P.M. RCMP, Airdrie Municipal Enforcement, and EMS responded to a report of a dog bite in the city at Sandstone off-leash park.

The city of Airdrie also confirmed an investigation is underway and clarified that two Municipal Enforcement officers did attend the scene but the individual had already been transported to Urgent Care by that time.

"Any information nearby residents or witnesses may have would be greatly appreciated. Members of the public can contact Airdrie RCMP or Municipal Enforcement," wrote Megan Stewart, Communications Advisor for the city. 

According to the city's Animal Control Bylaw, fines for animal bites in the schedule "C" fines section range from $250 to a $2000 fine; the $2000 fine pertains to a specified penalty if an animal bites or attack a Person and causes severe injury. The first-time fine for a severe bite is $1,200. 

The bylaw also uses a scale to determine the severity of a dog bite. According to the Dr. Ian Dunbar Aggression Scale, a level one encounter is described as, "dog growls, lunges, snarls- no teeth touch skin. Mostly intimidation and/or threatening behaviour." Whereas the most severe encounter is classified as a level six, "any bite resulting in the death of an animal."

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