Kelowna dangerous dog avoids death sentence but owner on the hook for $12,000 | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

Would you like to subscribe to our newsletter?

Current Conditions Cloudy  15.4°C

Kelowna News

Kelowna dangerous dog avoids death sentence but owner on the hook for $12,000

Image Credit: ADOBE STOCK

A Kelowna poodle has avoided being euthanized but left his owner on the hook for $12,000 for his lack of action after "Charlie" attacked other dogs and was classified a dangerous dog.

According to a recently published March 21 BC Provincial Court decision, dog owner Ian Sisett was fined $4,000 and will also have to pay $1,000 in compensation to the owner of a dog Charlie attacked, plus $7,000 to cover the court costs.

However, lawyers for the Regional District of Central Okanagan had wanted Charlie, who is a standard poodle, designated as a "Dangerous Dog".

Luckily for Charlie, and his owner, the application by the Regional District to designate Charlie as a dangerous dog, which could have resulted in Charlie being put down, was dismissed by the judge for technical legal reasons – although somewhat confusingly, the judge did conclude that Charlie is still a dangerous dog.

Following two separate attacks by Charlie on other dogs the Regional District of Central Okanagan laid seven charges against Sisett over Charlie's behaviour.

Sisett was later found guilty of failing to get a "Dangerous Dog" licence, failing to keep Charlie in a locked enclosure in his yard, failing to post a sign on his property that said "Dangerous Dog" and failing to get the dog microchipped.

According to the decision, Charlie first attacked a small dog called Spike while running at Okanagan College in Kelowna in January 2020. Charlie picked up Spike – which weighed less than 10 pounds – in his mouth and shook him violently. Spike had to be treated for a broken jaw and abrasions.

Eighteen months later a Yorkshire terrier named Nahla made its way into the Sisetts' yard and Charlie grabbed the dog and shook her violently.

Following the Okanagan College attack Sisett was convicted and fined $1,000 for "causing or permitting" his dog to become a dangerous dog.

However, Sisett appealed the conviction and won, with Justice Gary Weatherill ruling that while Charlie was a dangerous dog there was no proof Sisett had "caused or permitted" Charlie to become dangerous.

Sisett has also been in trouble before when another standard poodle escaped on two occasions in 2018. He appealed the fine and won after the judge ruled he hadn't "actively participated" in letting the dog escape as the bylaw stated.

READ MORE: Vernon dog obsessed with swimming becomes TikTok star

For these latest charges, Judge Andrew Tam said Sisett didn't exercised any due diligence after the Regional District labelled Charlie dangerous.

Instead of an official dangerous dog sign on his property, Sisett used a "Beware! Vicious Beast!" sign which contained a cartoon picture.

Provincial Court Judge Andrew Tam said the sign was "completely inadequate" and didn't convey the serious message that it is meant to.

"Mr. Sisett offered no defence other than that his family is not prepared to portray their Charlie as a dangerous dog to the public," the judge said.

Judge Tam also said Sisett offered no defence on why he failed to have the dog microchipped.

READ MORE: Vernon woman braves the elements to save her dog

As for failing to keep Charlie in a locked enclosure, Sisett argued that it was cruel to do so.

"I do not see that to amount to a defence, nor do I necessarily agree with that assertion, given the need to protect the public," the judge said.

The decision said that during the hearing Sisett made claims that the "entire proceeding" was an abuse of the court’s process and done for "ulterior motives, specifically to financially ruin the Sisetts and to cause psychological harm."

Judge Tam dismissed the allegations.

Sisett, who was once a lawyer himself, also accused the Regional District's lawyer of being "biased, impartial, and unprofessional."

"Again, I see absolutely no foundation for such a contention," Judge Tam said in the decision.

READ MORE: World's oldest dog celebrates 31st birthday, according to Guinness World Records

While Sisett was left on the hook for $12,000, the case is moving to the Supreme Court, which likely indicates he is planning to appeal the charges.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Ben Bulmer or call (250) 309-5230 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

We welcome your comments and opinions on our stories but play nice. We won't censor or delete comments unless they contain off-topic statements or links, unnecessary vulgarity, false facts, spam or obviously fake profiles. If you have any concerns about what you see in comments, email the editor in the link above. 

News from © iNFOnews, 2023

  • Popular kelowna News
View Site in: Desktop | Mobile