Facebook video raises questions about what to do in the event of a dog attack
Published Thursday, February 16, 2017 6:46PM PST
Video of the aftermath of a dog attack in Yaletown has some wondering what to do during a canine confrontation.
The video captured by cellphone and posted to Facebook shows one man threatening to have another's dog put down after a fight that left one of the pups with a bloody paw.
In this case, a passerby appeared to call police, but dog owners and the public are reminded that dealing with clashes between pets isn't the job of officers or the BC SPCA. Those affected by a dog fight have to call their local animal control officers, accessible in some areas by dialing 311.
Last year there were 1,200 warnings and 35 tickets issued in Vancouver under the animal control bylaw. It can be challenging to investigate reports, but in the Yaletown case, it appeared that the injured dog also lost a tooth.
"Conflict often starts between dogs when they're greeting on-leash," dog trainer Shelagh Begg told CTV News.
Begg has seen plenty of dog fights, often between well-meaning and polite owners.
"People are mingling and may be having a conversation and the dogs are being forced together, and maybe they don't want to be," she said.
The greetings often go on longer than dogs are comfortable with, and if they can't get away because they're on leash, a dog may try to chase the other away. Often, dogs don't even want to "say hi" to each other, they'd rather just keep walking.
"It's hard because Vancouver, especially downtown, is very dog dense. There's a lot of dogs and more and more buildings are becoming pet friendly," she said.
"If you're forced to greet just because of space issues, keep it really brief… keep moving rather than mingling around," she advised.
Begg also recommends teaching dogs how to control their impulses, to stay back from other dogs and go back to their owner or handler if the other dog gets aggressive.
Owners who find themselves in the middle of a fight are reminded to exchange information in case either pet is injured.
With a report from CTV Vancouver's Penny Daflos