Pet Chihuahua killed by larger dog in attack at Sanford park; search for owner continues

A Seminole County family is mourning the loss of a family pet in a gruesome dog attack at a local dog park.

Cory Richardson said he and his son took their dog, Oatmeal, to Paw Park on Saturday to celebrate a recent accomplishment. While there, Richardson said he heard the dog yelping, and when he went over to check on the seven-pound Chihuahua, he was in the mouth of a larger dog.

"I came to kind of get in between the doggies and realized the dog was not going to let my dog out of its mouth," Cory said. 

Richardson said he did his best to pry him out, but according to him, critical damage had already been done. The pair rushed Oatmeal to a nearby vet, where they were told there wasn’t much to be done. He died shortly thereafter.

The family could not identify the dog's owner, and they are hopeful the person will step forward. 


"It was more important to take him to the urgent care than to stay here and try and find who's at fault, even though it's important," she said.

The particular dog park has signage that states the city is not responsible for any injuries or damage. Adam Leath of Seminole County Animal Services said the other dog owner(s) could be held liable for civil damages connected to the incident.

Leath emphasized the importance of notifying your local animal services department following attacks.

"It's very important, even in stressful situations," he said. "You make that call so that we can respond."

He urged anyone with information about the incident to contact his office.