Dog named Kujo likely to 'kill or injure,' B.C. court rules in euthanasia decision
A dog named Kujo will be euthanized after a B.C. judge determined the animal is "likely to kill or injure" if released from the pound.
An animal control officer from Port Coquitlam applied to have Kujo labelled as dangerous and put down after the dog attacked a kennel employee and a shelter attendant in two separate incidents 11 months apart.
"He has bitten two different people, causing serious injuries," provincial court judge Wilson Lee wrote in a Jan. 27 decision. "I find that this is a strong indicator of the likelihood of his future actions."
The first attack happened in September 2021, when Kujo, who is described as being a "pit bull-type breed," was being kept at Countryside Kennels, a boarding and training business that was then used as Port Coquitlam's animal pound.
An employee entered Kujo's kennel to take him for a walk, but when she turned her back on the dog he "lunged at her, biting the thumb of her left hand and breaking through the nail," according to an agreed statement of facts in the case.
Kujo then bit the woman's arm and foot, while also tearing through her shirt.
Even after the employee managed to escape the kennel and close the door, the court decision noted that Kujo "continued to aggressively lunge and jump at her through the gate, trying to bite her fingers."
The second attack happened when an attendant at a different shelter took Kujo into the facility's courtyard in August 2022. After the woman petted Kujo, the dog's head suddenly turned in such a way that left her feeling unsafe, according to the decision. As she was getting up to leave, Kujo bit her hand.
That attendant "sustained three puncture wounds to her arm, soft tissue damage and a swollen wrist," the statement of facts reads.
The court heard Kujo belonged to a homeless woman who had been "unwilling or unable" to control the dog when he was free. The officer who applied for Kujo's dangerous dog designation said she had seen the animal running off-leash numerous times before, and believed him to be a public safety risk.
Kujo has been impounded since August 2019, following an incident near Castle Park Elementary School in which a passerby spotted the dog unleashed and tried to place a spare leash on his neck. Kujo became startled and bolted off, dragging the passerby along a gravel road and leaving her bruised and scratched.
Based on Kujo's history, Lee agreed to designate the dog as dangerous, which comes with strict conditions that many owners would have trouble meeting, including a requirement that the animal be kept securely confined in a locked enclosure, whether indoors or outdoors, and only taken out in public while leashed and muzzled.
"In cases such as this, the safety of the public is of primary importance," the judge wrote. "Given the evidence before me, I am satisfied on the balance of probabilities that Kujo is likely to kill or injure in future. This is especially the case because Kujo is frequently found at large, requiring him to be seized and impounded."
Lee also ordered that the animal be euthanized, but no sooner than 31 days from the date of his order.
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