An Anchorage man says two of his dogs were injured by a booby trap at a dog park. He now wants to warn other dog owners of the dangers that could be lying in wait for their pets to find.


Matthew Sanders was walking his two dogs at the South Anchorage Sports Park on Klatt Road Friday night and threw a ball for them to fetch. He said he heard them yelp and when he found them, they were covered in blood. One of his dogs, Mabel, suffered a split tongue as a result of whatever she had come in contact with.


Sanders rushed his dogs to the VCA Alpine Animal Hospital, where staff told him his dogs’ injuries were likely not an accident.


“Talking with the doc, it wasn’t just a dog biting it’s own tongue issue, there wasn’t another dog fight happening, it was something that was malicious,” he said.


The veterinarian treating Mabel explained to Sanders that it’s not unusual for dogs to hurt their own tongues, “but the way this tongue was torn up,” and the “very perfect” straight edges left little room for doubt, according to Sanders.


Sanders said Mabel and his other dog, who suffered minor injuries to his paws, are going to be fine, but now he’s worried what has happened to them could happen to other pets. He said there’s a “big history” of people hurting dogs in the area, and some dogs have eaten food put out with poison or razor blades.


“I’m not going to find the person that did it,” he said. “Chances are nobody is going to find this person, but we’re making everyone aware of what’s going on and that’s just what has happened over that last few years. Everyone has known of somebody who knew somebody who’s dog died and got sick out here.”


Sanders said he thinks the attacks on dogs in the area stem from efforts to prevent the homeless and drug users from camping out in the area.


Anchorage Animal Care and Control said it had not received any reports about the traps.


An officer saw Sander’s Facebook post and investigated. He said he didn’t find anything suspicious but encouraged anyone who sees anything concerning to contact animal control by calling 907-343-8119.


KTVA 11’s Eric Ruble, Bonney Bowman and Shannon Riddle contributed to this report.


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