Anchorage man who walked circumference of Earth with his dog seeks answers after attack

Published: Feb. 14, 2022 at 10:08 PM AKST
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - The past few days have been difficult for Mike Mitchell and his dog, Chance, as they try to piece together what happened last Thursday after Mitchell said a dog attack left Chance with bite marks and a broken humerus bone.

The pair gained attention last year when a goal to get healthy resulted in them walking over 24,901 miles, or the equivalent of walking the circumference of the Earth. Mitchell and Chance walked from Elmore Road down to Lake Otis Parkway on Abbott Road last Thursday when the attack happened, according to the dog’s owner.

“This really big, I’d say almost fat German Shepherd came around me with great speed, grabbed Chance, and caused a great deal of damage to him in just a few seconds,” Mitchell recalled. “... I thought I was going to hold him while he was dying, and so I didn’t chase the dog back.”

Mitchell rushed his 9-year-old Shih Tzu to Midnight Sun Animal Hospital where they stitched up his bite marks.

“The vet said, ‘I think we’re going to have to amputate your dog’s leg’ and I said ‘please try something, try anything, but don’t do that,’” Mitchell said.

Eventually, they found a doctor who could possibly repair Chance’s leg through surgery. Mitchell agreed despite being told it’s not guaranteed to work and scheduled it for later this month.

Once Mitchell was able to take care of Chance he moved on to try and find the dog and owner responsible for his pet’s injuries, but has yet to find that out.

“My message to the owner is, you know, don’t try to hide this, don’t be a coward, own up to it. Your insurance will pay for it,” Mitchell said.

Anchorage Animal Care and Control could not provide comments about Mitchell’s case due to their investigation. Anchorage’s leash law falls under municipal code, according to Animal Care and Control.

With some exceptions, like designated off-leash dog areas, “it is unlawful for any animal to be in a public place unless it is controlled by a leash, and in the control of a person competent to restrain the animal,” city code reads in part.

Anyone who has video or might have seen Mitchell and Chance last Thursday is asked to report to Animal Care and Control at 907-343-8119.

Mitchell has set up a GoFundMe page for Chance as well, looking to raise money for the dog’s upcoming surgery.

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