VANCOUVER -- A Coquitlam woman faces a massive vet bill after a neighbour’s large breed dog attacked her small Yorkshire Terrier-Chihuahua cross — ripping the little dog open across its back and stomach.

It happened Friday afternoon as Cara Mueller and her dog Remy exited the side door of her apartment building.

Remy froze because a large dog and its owner were in the area.

Mueller says she tried to get her little dog back inside but it was too late.

"The dog just went right after him," she said. "And Remy was in his jaws and he was shaking my dog like a toy."

For a brief moment both dog owners were frozen and Mueller says that’s when she jumped into action — actually shoving her hand in the larger dog’s mouth hoping it would let go. The dog momentarily loosened its grip before chomping down on her fingers — breaking a bone — and leaving her hand covered in puncture wounds.

Both Mueller and Remy needed emergency medical treatment.

"His bill is over $3300. I wasn’t able to pay for the whole thing yet," said Mueller. "So still trying to figure that out. But his injuries are very extensive. He’s traumatized."

Remy had a three-hour surgery to treat wounds on his back and belly.

He’s not eating or drinking so he still has to go back to the vet every day for IV fluids. 

Although the other dog owner lives in the same building, Mueller says she has not been as cooperative as she would like, and so far the woman hasn’t offered to contribute any money towards the vet bill.

In the immediate aftermath of the attack, Mueller called police and an ambulance.

She says RCMP told her to report the situation to Coquitlam's animal control — and she has started that process.

Mueller says she still fears for Remy's safety, considering the other dog lives in the same apartment building. 

In the meantime, she has started a GoFundMe page to help cover the cost of her dog’s medical bills.