Couple rallies after Richmond seeks order to destroy 2 Rottweilers
A Richmond couple is fighting to keep their two Rottweilers alive after a biting incident that has the city seeking an order to destroy both dogs.
The incident happened Oct. 25, when the eight-year-old dogs, named Axel and Paris, escaped from the home of Prabjot and Raj Nijjar.
The animals ran to a construction site where Axel, the larger of the two dogs, bit a construction worker.
The City of Richmond found out about the incident and seized the dogs, keeping them at the Richmond Animal Protection Society until a court hearing in April when a judge will determine whether they should be put down.
The Nijjars and other supporters held a rally at Richmond City Hall Monday to fight the city’s course of action.
“I’m here to support my two lovely dogs,” said Prabjot Nijjar. “I’m not allowed to see them. I want them free very quickly and [for them] to come home.”
The couple described Axel and Paris as “very friendly dogs” and said they can’t understand why the city is seeking to have both dogs destroyed when only Axel bit the worker.
“Why Paris has been punished at the same time?” Nijjar said. “The bylaws officer says it’s because Paris was with Axel: that’s the reason.”
Dustin Wang, the construction worker who was bit, told CTV News the bite only resulted in a very minor injury and said he doesn’t want the dogs to be put down – if this was their first incident.
But the City of Richmond said this isn’t the first time something like this has happened with the dogs.
“There is a history with these animals and with the owners,” said city spokesman Ted Townsend. “Our criteria in any of these sorts of situations is public safety.”
Townsend said he couldn’t get into specifics about other incidents that have occurred with Axel and Paris because the matter is going to court.
Prabjot Nijjar said about three to four years ago, Axel bit a smaller dog walking by him, but nothing ever came of it.
“I think Axel just nipped his toe, that’s it,” she said. “The lady didn’t [get] back to us.”
The Nijjars said they’ve been forbidden from even visiting their dogs until the hearing takes place, despite them having to pay money to keep them at the kennel.
“That’s city policy pending the outcome of the order that’s being sought by the city,” Townsend said.
The couple said they’ve installed a six-foot-high fence around their property to prevent the dogs from escaping again.
With a report from CTV British Columbia's Shannon Paterson