A two-year-old labrador retriever was killed last month when it playfully jumped into the Fraser River near the pump station at the end of Hyde Buker Road last month.
The current entering the station pulled the dog was the water and through the flood box. When he came out on the other side (Hatzic Lake) he was dead.
“We did everything to (try to) save the dog,” said Maria Tiben, who was riding a horse with two friends on the dike in Dewdney while walking seven dogs on Sept. 16.
A few dogs who were walking ahead of the group ran through an open gate to get to the river near the pump station, Tiben said.
The women called the dogs back, but two made it into the water. Crawling on a concrete beam above the flood boxes, Tiben and her friend managed to pull one of the dogs out of the water, but they couldn’t reach the yellow lab. The third person with them remained with the horses and the rest of the dogs.
“It happened so fast,” said Tiben, who still has nightmares of the incident.
Tiben, who has lived in the area for more than 10 years and walks the dike regularly, is calling on the Dewdney Area Improvement District (DAID) to put up more signs and gates around the area warning others of the danger.
“I don’t want this to happen to another animal, or a child,” said Tiben. “There should be a big warning sign there. If I had known that, I wouldn’t go anywhere near there.”
“The whole dike is private property,” said DAID’s Larry Wiens, noting the dike is owned by DAID and trespassing continues to be a problem in the area.
Wiens said there is a sign on the gate at the parking area advising people the dike is private property, but he knows it is often ignored. “It’s the perfect place to walk dogs.”
The pump station helps drain and maintain water levels at Hatzic Lake.
DAID is responsible for maintaining the dikes along the Fraser River from Dewdney Trunk Road and Lougheed Highway in Hatzic to Bell Road in Dewdney.
Wiens explained the gate is left open when maintenance work is being done and advised people to stay away from the pump stations in general, and keep dogs and children away from it as well.
Wiens said he would look into putting up more signs in the area and will discuss with the DAID board about any additional measures at the next meeting later this month.