January 17, 2014 - 4:00 PM
KELOWNA – One of the two off-leash pit bulls that attacked and injured a woman’s Rhodesian ridgeback Saturday has been euthanized.
Cindy Switzer and her 6-year-old daughter were walking Bella, a 7-year-old Rhodesian ridgeback at the now-decommissioned Bellevue Creek Elementary School on Saturday when they were approached by two off-leash dogs. The dogs proceeded to attack Bella, who was seriously injured and required approximately 100 stitches.
A man who was also in the park when the attack took place turned out to be the owner of only one of the dogs. The other pit bull belongs to someone else, but was in his care.
Regional District Communications Officer Bruce Smith said that the man agreed to voluntarily surrender his dog. He was issued a $200 fine for failing to control a dangerous dog and $100 for having a dog on grounds owned by School District 23. Under current bylaws, dogs are not allowed on SD23 grounds.
The woman whose dog was attacked was also issued a $300 fine for failing to have a valid licence.
Smith says that although there is zero-tolerance for unlicensed dogs, the fine for being on school grounds is discretionary. As of January 1, 2014, all dogs that are found to be unlicensed are subject to a mandatory $300 fine.
“We really don’t have any leeway with the licence requirement,” he says. “In the case of the school grounds, we decided that because she had her dogs under control and because her dog was injured, she was not issued the ticket.”
The pit bull that was not euthanized has been declared a dangerous dog by the Regional District, and as such must be kept according to these bylaws.
The public will have an opportunity to address the District regarding the new Responsible Dog Ownership Bylaw, which received first and second readings by the Regional Board Thursday.
“The goal of the bylaw is to encourage, support and reward dog owners that choose to be responsible and good neighbours,” says Smith. “With more dog owners doing these things, we look forward to having fewer unfortunate incidents and conflicts involving dogs and a safer and more dog welcoming community.”
Central Okanagan residents can learn more about the Responsible Dog Ownership Bylaw and complete the online questionnaire here.
The public is also invited to attend an information open house on Wednesday, January 29 at the RDCO KLO Road office.
The questionnaire will be available for residents to complete by February 2.
To contact the reporter for this story, email Adam Proskiw at email@example.com, call (250) 718-0428 or tweet @AdamProskiw.
**This story was corrected Jan. 17, 2014 at 5:30 p.m. to include information that only the dog that was euthanized belonged to the man.
News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2014