A dog was stabbed in New York’s Central Park on Saturday following a “verbal dispute” between dog owners, the New York City Police Department said.
The dispute started when a couple walking their two dogs encountered a man walking his three dogs in the park, NYPD Officer Antonio Antenucci told CNN Monday.
The dogs began to fight, and there was a “verbal dispute” between the owners as they tried to separate them, he said. The man then allegedly pulled out a switchblade and stabbed one of the couple’s dogs, he said.
No arrests have yet been made in connection with the incident, Antenucci said.
The injured dog was later euthanized after a cancerous mass was found during a subsequent ultrasound, the dog’s owner, Brian Cornwell, told CNN.
‘My dog’s in a pile of blood’
Cornwell and his wife went for a walk in the park after dinner with their two dogs, Eli and Sadie, he said.
He said a miniature pit bull ran over and tried to bite Sadie, their six-pound miniature pinscher. The pit bull’s owner, who had two other dogs with him, tried telling the couple it was OK, and Cornwell responded that it wasn’t.
“He didn’t like that I spoke up,” Cornwell told CNN Monday.
The two men exchanged words before Cornwell said he tried to de-escalate the situation. He and his wife began to walk away, but the man followed them, Cornwell said.
“All of a sudden he’s close to me,” Cornwell said. “He’s trying to hit me.”
The man had dropped the leashes for his three dogs and they were going after Sadie, Cornwell said.
When Cornwell’s wife picked Sadie up, the dogs began attacking Eli, the couple’s 14-year-old pit bull-German Shepherd mix.
“I was trying to get these dogs off my dog,” Cornwell said. “I kicked one of his dogs right off.”
Cornwell said the man was trying to hit him throughout the ordeal, and at one point, Cornwell pepper-sprayed the man but it didn’t seem to affect him.
During the struggle, the three dogs’ leashes became tangled around Eli’s neck and collar, according to Cornwell.
“(The man) was dragging my dog on the sidewalk in the park, trying to get the leashes and the dogs off my dog,” he said.
When the man took out a knife, appearing to attempt to cut one of the leashes, Eli growled and the man stabbed the dog, Cornwell said.
“My dog’s in a pile of blood.” Cornwell said. “I thought he was going to bleed out, there was so much blood.”
The man finally gathered his three dogs and left the scene before police arrived, according to Cornwell.
Cornwell took Eli to a nearby animal hospital, where veterinarians found the cancerous mass after an ultrasound. They estimated Eli would have about five months left to live, according to Cornwell.
“I had to make the decision to euthanize him,” he said. “I didn’t want him to suffer.”
Cornwell said it was devastating to lose Eli, who he rescued about 10 years ago.
“I have dog beds in every room and he’s not there,” he said. “He’s the best dog I’ve ever had.”