© Lynn Curwin - Truro Daily News
Shellee Rushton and Bane take a moment to relax while visiting the Truro dog park.
TRURO, N.S. — Recent encounters with a suspicious man at a Truro, N.S. dog park have left two women with concerns and a sense of uneasiness.
Shellee Rushton often takes her young pit bull-type dog, Bane, to the dog park for exercise and to socialize. Their visit in the early evening March 3 was much like any other until they went to leave.
“There was an SUV running and the man inside said, ‘Excuse me ma’am’ and then asked if my dog was a pit bull pup. I said he was a mix and the man asked his age. When I said he was four and a half months he sounded really excited and said, ‘He’s going to be big!’ Then he asked me if I would sell him.”
The man told Rushton his wife, who was dying from cancer, was upset because their pit bull had to be put down and he really wanted to get a puppy for her.
“I told him he wasn’t for sale but he asked if I was sure and said he would pay good money. I told him no again and just walked away but when I drove away he was right behind me.”
A man who was a regular at the park and was leaving at the same time noticed, got his vehicle between theirs and allowed other cars to pull onto the road between them.
Rushton hadn’t seen the man before and hasn’t since but now exercises caution when she visits the park.
Tyana Lynn Potvin thinks she met the same man two days earlier. She was walking past a vehicle when a man inside started talking to her about her two-year-old pit bull-type dog, TJ.
“He asked me my dog’s age and remarked on how nicely built he was and then asked if I was interested in giving him away to a good home,” she said. “I told him no, that he’s a family dog, but the man kept talking, telling me his wife had cancer and he wanted it for her because they had to put theirs down. I told him no again and went into the park but and hour later, when we were leaving, he was still there and asked me to reconsider. He was being very persistent and it made me very. very uncomfortable. He was, in every sense of the word, creepy.”
She said the man had bad teeth and a French accent and told her he was from Quebec, which is where she grew up.
The man left the dog park the same time she did so she drove through several other areas before heading home.
Truro Police Chief Dave MacNeil said police have been doing more frequent patrols around the park since the incidents were reported.
“If people at the dog park encounter someone who makes them feel uncomfortable give us a call,” he said. “If there is anyone suspicious hanging around any area give us a call. We’d rather check something out and have it be nothing than not be called and find out there was something wrong later.”