The owner of a dog said to have attacked a yellow Labrador puppy in Elk/Beaver Lake Park last month faces a $100 fine.
“We were able to track down the owner of the dog,” said Don Brown, chief bylaw enforcement officer for the Capital Regional District.
The CRD issued the fine after an off-leash dog had attacked Boomer, the then five-month-old yellow Labrador puppy of Don Jordan, while he and his partner Erna Arndt were walking Boomer on a trail in Elk/Beaver Lake Park June 12.
The couple and Boomer passed a woman walking five adult dogs: a long-haired golden retriever, a short-haired yellow Labrador, a medium-sized boxer, and what was described by Arndt as a chocolate Labrador retriever, and a mixed-breed dog. All dogs were off-leash at the time. The park — which is under CRD jurisdiction — allows off-leash dogs except in certain areas on the condition owners keep theirs dog under control at all times.
The couple had left the woman and her dogs little more than five metres behind them, when the mixed-breed dog attacked Boomer from behind. The attack left bite marks on Boomer’s face that required stitches and staples. The woman showed little regard for Boomer, said Jordan, who would like the woman to help cover treatment costs of just over $200.
Brown said the CRD has had dealings with both the woman and the attacking dog, which he described as brown and tan-coloured German shepherd.
“We have had multiple occurrences in the past,” he said. In fact, the CRD has issued a dangerous dog caution against the animal, a precursor to designating it as a dangerous animal, stemming from a 2015 incident.
If classified as a dangerous animal, the owner would have to leash and muzzle the animal, said Brown, who believes its record justifies such a designation. The owner would also have to keep the dog in a fenced-off area with a clearly visibly sign that identifies the animal as dangerous. The animal could not be at large and if it were the subject of another incident, authorities would likely seize the animal either for the purpose of destroying it or re-homing it, since not all animals bear fault for their behaviour, said Brown.
Other more drastic options are also possible. “Dogs that are likely to kill or injure, or have killed or injured, can be ordered destroyed by the provincial court,” the CRD said on its website. “If an owner cannot or will not control a dangerous dog, the above provision is used.”