ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – A hazard at a local park left a dog severely injured and the owner with hundreds of dollars to pay in medical bills.
Steve Savage taped up what became a major danger to his dog last week at Albuquerque’s Rio Grande Triangle Park near Tingley Beach. It was a sharp piece of re-bar sticking out of the gate that surrounded the park that left Savage’s Blue Heeler, Sammy, with a huge gash in his leg.
“There is all his hair,” said Savage, pointing to the ground. “He was running by here at full speed, and it split him right open.”
Sammy had to get a lot of stitches, and Savage said it could take six months until he is fully recovered.
“I am very upset,” Savage said. “The city needs to provide a safe environment for dogs and people here.”
Witnesses at the park at the time of the injury were also upset. Sherman Galla said, “Everyone was kind of in shock to see such a nasty wound like that on an animal, especially in a dog park where you think safety is guaranteed, but apparently it’s not.”
After KRQE News 13 called about it Monday, most of the re-bar had been cut off. It still has some sharp edges, but city officials said they are not done yet.
News 13 asked how the re-bar could have been left there in the first place.
“It may have been an oversight, something was missed there,” said Michael Sanchez, a safety compliance specialist in the city’s Risk Management Division. “We want to take actions so that this will never happen again.”
The city said the metal used to hold a trash can. The park was fixed up seven years ago and workers moved the trash can, but not the piece of metal. The city said a crew will return Tuesday morning to completely file down that piece of metal and make sure it is no longer a danger.
Savage said he is left with about $1,200 in medical bills that he is calling for the city to pay. The city is still looking into it.