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Rules could get tougher for Calgary dog owners
Michael Franklin, CTV Calgary
Published Thursday, May 14, 2015 5:21AM MDT
Last Updated Thursday, May 14, 2015 9:05AM MDT
The regulations could be changing for Calgary dog owners in an attempt to curb the growing trend of dog attacks, with five such incidents in as many days.
Animal and Bylaw Services says they’re considering changing the rules for owning certain breeds of dogs, because three of five recent attacks have involved pit bulls.
The department says those and Rottweilers seem to be at the top of the list when it comes to dangerous dog incidents.
Officers say they’ll be meeting with council in the near future to discuss proposed changes for people wanting to own certain breeds.
Some of the ideas going forward include mandatory muzzles and coloured bandanas based on how aggressive the dog is.
“Simply putting the onus back on the owners,” says Alvin Murray, north operations manager for Calgary Animal and Bylaw Services. “If you want to have a pit bull at home, you can, but I expect it will cost you much more for licensing, much more in the event there’s an attack like we’ve seen in the last few days.”
On Wednesday, officials say there were two dog attacks, one in Rundle involving another breed of dog, and one in Dover involving a pit bull cross.
In the Dover incident, a 14-year-old girl was attacked while she was walking to school. She suffered injuries to both of her legs and had to be taken to hospital for treatment.
But what makes the incident even worse is the fact that witnesses say the owner did nothing to stop the attack.
“She was limping and crying and I stopped and asked her what was wrong, I thought she got beat up or something, and she said a dog attacked her and I said where did it happen and she pointed down the pathway and I asked her was the master there, did he try to stop it and she goes no, he was lying on the ground when she walked by, the dog got away from him and he just lay there and watched her get attacked and she was bleeding profusely on the right leg, on the calf area and he attacked both legs,” a woman who lives in the area of the attack said.
The woman, who didn’t want to be named, says she’s seen the owner and the dog in the area before, but he did not stay to speak with bylaw officers when they arrived a short time later.
The three other incidents occurred on:
- Monday, May 11 in Abbeydale involving two children and a Great Pyrenees. Five charges have been laid including; dog at large, two charges of a dog chasing and threatening a person, and two charges of a dog biting a person.
- Sunday, May 10 in Martindale where a dog was fatally attacked while on a leash. Five charges have been laid including; dog causing death to another animal, dog at large, unlicensed dog, dog causing injury to a person, dog bite to another animal. This investigation is ongoing.
- Saturday, May 9 an aggressive dog incident occurred in Skyview Ranch causing death to a yorkie/bichon. One male pit bull was seized and two charges have been laid.
Bylaw officers have said that all of these attacks have something in common – they’ve all occurred in public areas like sidewalks and not in off-leash dog parks.
Currently, only the Province of Ontario and the City of Winnipeg have actual legislation prohibiting the ownership of pit bulls.