Surrey mayor wants dangerous dog bylaws reviewed after attacks
Published Tuesday, June 21, 2016 7:21PM PDT
Do Surrey’s dangerous dog bylaws need more teeth?
That’s a question Mayor Linda Hepner is pondering the day after two separate dog attacks that injured a senior and a puppy in the city.
Hepner told CTV News she will be asking council to review Surrey’s dangerous dog bylaws on Monday, and that she wants staff to examine what other cities are doing.
That includes Montreal, which recently banned pit bulls after a woman was mauled to death. Current pit bull owners in the city will be able to keep their dogs, but the animals have to be neutered, registered and put in a muzzle while in public.
Animal behaviour expert Rebecca Ledger said pit bulls are no more likely to bite than other breeds.
“Small breeds like chihuahuas and dachshunds are statistically more aggressive than pit bulls,” Ledger told CTV News earlier this month.
There is a big difference in how much damage larger breeds can cause, however.
Two vicious attacks in one day
In Surrey, there have been 165 reports of dog bites and aggressive dog behaviour so far this year. Two took place Monday, beginning when a 65-year-old woman was viciously attacked outside a Mac’s convenience store.
Mounties said the dog was a pit bull that started biting the senior without provocation, causing serious injuries to her forearm.
According to witnesses, the owner, who was inside the store when the attack started, ran outside and then walked away from the scene with his dog.
The next incident happened just hours later in Tynehead Park. Simone Berg and Vince Boone said they were walking their five-and-a-half-month-old Pomeranian, Molly, when another dog lunged at the puppy.
“It was an instantaneous attack,” said Berg. “It was horrible. My dog had to have her teeth pulled. She’s heavily sedated. We don’t know how bad the injuries are.”
The attacking dog bit Molly on the mouth and wouldn’t let go, Berg said. Boone eventually had to step in to separate the animals.
Mounties said the dog’s owner identified the breed as a pit bull. The dog, named Bella, is in the process of being adopted, and Berg said the adoption agency has volunteered to pay Molly’s $400 veterinarian bill.
With files from CTV Vancouver’s Michele Brunoro and Jon Woodward