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Saanich woman cries 'fowl' after dog attack near Beaver Lake Park

Shauna Payton wants dog owners to take responsibility after five of her chickens were killed or injured in off-leash attack
Shauna Payton Rooster 3
Shauna Payton holds a rooster which was attacked by an off-leash dog at her home near Beaver Lake Park. The rooster was one of two chickens to survive the attack

A Saanich woman is calling foul after three of her chickens were killed and two others injured in a vicious dog attack near Beaver Lake Park.

Shauna Payton was at work when the June 20 incident occurred, but her mother, Sharon Ross, and a neighbour witnessed the horrible scene.

“The (dog owner) didn’t leave any information, so I have no idea who they are,” Payton said.

Ross said two women were walking the off-leash dog when it suddenly broke through two fences and made for the chickens. Payton takes in fowl from other homes and has several rare breeds, including an endangered Red Dorking, only one of three Payton knows in Western Canada.

“He was attacked ... and he’s in so much pain he can barely walk,” she said.

The dog walkers borrowed a leash from Payton’s neighbour to control their pet, but didn’t speak to anyone when they returned it days later.

“They just left the leash by her front door; they didn’t knock or anything,” Payton said.

Now Payton wants an apology from the dog’s owner, as well as some compensation for the loss of her fowl and the medical expenses she racked up for the injured pets.

“My main concern is these people realizing they’ve done some pretty serious damage and need to take responsibility for it,” she said.

This also isn’t the first time Payton has had issues with dogs in Beaver Lake Park.

“I ride my horse in that park almost every day, and I have constant problems with dogs not being under control,” she said.

There are only two parks in Saanich where dogs need to be on-leash at all times — the Cedar Hill Golf Course perimeter trail and Rithet’s Bog Park. Dogs are also prohibited at all times in Swan Lake Park and Quick’s Bottom Park.

Everywhere else, dogs must at least be under effective control, said Susan Ryan, pound inspector with the Saanich Pound.

“[Effective control] means that you should be able to call your dog, and it needs to respond right away,” Ryan said.

“People don’t understand that. They just let their dogs run freely in the parks and problems occur.”

Owners who let dogs run freely in a prohibited place could face a $100 fine under District of Saanich bylaws.

Payton agreed many people are unaware of dog control bylaws. She also thinks there should also be more signage in parks to increase awareness of effective control of dogs.

Parks with usual dog restrictions are not heavily signed, except to inform dog owners to pick up excrement, but Ryan said more signage likely won’t help the issue.

“You can’t sign for every bylaw ... (but) it’s starting to supersede the safety of people and other animals,” Ryan said.

“They’re still animals with animal instincts and they need to be controlled.”

Ross described the dog as white with brown patches and similar to a large Jack Russell terrier.

Payton is asking anyone with information to email her through a ad by searching “Beaver Lake dog attack.”