Dog’s Death at Private Polk County Dog Park Ignites A Battle Between Owners

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

 

RUNNELLS, Iowa -- Like most pet owners, Lindsay Scheidler loves her dogs.  "Our dogs are like our kids. We treat them the same."  She says Saturday afternoon turned into Lindsay's worst fear. "It was probably the most horrific thing I`ve ever seen."

While entering Rover's Ranch, a sprawling private dog park in Runnells, Lindsay`s seven year-old Dachsund Rudy along with her two larger dogs Piper and Ollie took off running.  They were heading towards three husky-mix dogs owned by the park's owner Darcy Emehiser but handled by a friend.  "She was getting ready to leave and come out of there. She had all three on leashes, ok, and all of the sudden two pit bulls were charging the dogs," said Darcy.

Lindsay says Darcy's Huskies broke free from the leash and bit and killed her dachshund.  It was a sight Lindsay wishes she could forget. "I could literally see his insides hanging out."  Darcy says it was a normal reaction from  her dog Grady. "He`s still being charged and he just turned and reacted and grabbed what was there in a vicious shake bite but he was reacting.  He was on a leash and her dogs were charging." Lindsay says it wasn't just one dog either.  "Yes, one picked him up and shook him. All three of them were literally tearing him apart."

While it may seem like a normal reaction to Darcy, Lindsay says those three dogs are anything but normal.  "She verbally told me several times that her dogs are wolf-dogs and they are hybrids.  It's like a husky mixed with a wolf."  Darcy says technically, all dogs are actually wolf dogs and her pets are no different.  "You can look at my dogs, yes they look wolfie.  Are they one hundred percent? No, nobody owns a one hundred percent wolf," said Darcy.

Lindsay points to scars, a reminder of her effort to save Rudy.  "I went to get him and that's when I got bit by one of the larger white dogs." Darcy says that's impossible, "They were never close enough to touch her, let alone bite her.  I will fight that till my end."

Darcy also claims no fault, saying Lindsay`s dogs should never have been at the park in the first place. She says Lindsay's park membership expired. "I didn't want the dog to die.  It was a tragic accident but it wasn't my dog's fault and clearly without a current membership you are trespassing."   Lindsay believes she was never told of it's expiration. "She ever told me I couldn't be there.  She never told me I owed her money.  She never sent a bill or anything." She added.
I'd be more than happy to pay the fee."

Lindsay says she`ll never visit the park again, and urges others to think about her encounter. She said, "You need to be held responsible and need to be a responsible dog owner and if you have breeds like that and you run a dog park you can't have them out of control in the field."

Darcy has offered to pay half of the nearly $5,000 medical bill.  All three of the husky-mix dogs have been given in-home quarantine restrictions for ten days from Polk County Animal Control.  The county does not have any restrictions on dogs being part wolf and it is legal to own dog-wolf hybrids.