The City of Nanaimo is issuing a reminder for pet owners to be responsible after a puppy was allegedly killed by another off-leash dog last week.

The city says that dogs must be kept on a leash in all public spaces, except for specified off-leash areas. The municipality adds that pet owners must be in control of their dogs “at all times.”

"While some owners may be confident in their ability to control their dogs, a recent dog attack illustrates the importance of keeping them on a leash at all times on public property," said David LaBerge, manager of community safety for the city of Nanaimo, in a release Thursday.

"Not only are you showing you care about your dog by following these rules, you are showing your neighbours and fellow citizens you care about them and their beloved pets," he said.

The alleged dog attack occurred on Sunday on a trail between Northfield Road and Masters Road.

Nanaimo resident Lynette Hleck says she was blackberry picking with her four-month-old puppy, Fern, when a man with two off-leash dogs approached them.

Hleck says that one of the dogs then charged at Fern as the owner yelled, “Pick up your dog!”

Before Hleck could react, the dog caught Fern in its jaws.

“The owner did his very best and grabbed the dog and pinned him and tried to open its mouth,” says Hleck. “He kept shaking and he had the locked jaw.”

Eventually the dog released Fern and Hleck rushed her to a veterinarian. The puppy was pronounced dead upon arrival.

In her rush to get Fern to an animal hospital, Hleck says neither dog owners swapped information. She continues to ask for the dog owner to come forward.

Besides urging residents to have their dogs under control and on-leash, the city of Nanaimo is reminding pet owners that all dogs must be licenced if they live in the municipality and are three months of age or older. A current-year tag must also be displayed on all dog collars.

The city says that 100 per cent of all fees associated with dog licencing goes towards operating the Nanaimo Animal Shelter.

To report pet safety concerns or animal control bylaw infractions, call Nanaimo Animal Control Services at 250-616-0233.