Kristopher Benson holds on to the leash of his dog that viciously attacked a woman in Garrison Crossing in Chilliwack on Aug. 31, 2017. Benson fled the scene, hid the dog and altered its colour but animal control seized it and it was eventually destroyed by court order. (Submitted)

Higher fines for owners of dogs that kill other dogs in Fraser Valley Regional District

Change to animal control bylaw among several to deal with ‘aggressive’ dogs

Owners of dogs that kill other dogs will soon face higher fines in the Fraser Valley Regional District (FVRD).

Before amendments were made to the FVRD’s animal control bylaw at the last board meeting, there was a $250 fine for “dog causing injury.”

Staff has now separated out the word “kill” from the phrase “attack, bite, kill or cause injury” from that section of the bylaw.

“This allows for the implementation of greater fines for attacks that result in mortality,” according to a staff report.

Step two of the process will be to decide upon what that higher fine will be.

The change is one among many to the animal control bylaw, most dealing with “aggressive” dogs. One further clarification is regarding transport of aggressive dogs, which now have to be muzzled if a dog is leaving its enclosure or house to be put in a vehicle where it must also be muzzled.

“Unfortunately, situations have occurred where an aggressive dog during transition to a vehicle or an enclosure has escaped, or while in a vehicle has jumped out of the window,” staff report.

Another change will allow dog owners more time to prepare an appeal if a dog has been designated “aggressive” under the bylaw

The definition of “aggressive” in the bylaw is lengthy but is essentially a dog that has already attacked or bitten a person or a domestic animal; has aggressively harassed a person or domestic animal; is kept for dog fighting; or is a “dangerous” dog.

And the definition of a “dangerous dog” under the Community Charter is a dog that has killed or seriously injured a person; killed or seriously injured a domestic animal off the owner’s property; or a dog that an animal control officer has reasonable grounds to believe is likely to kill or seriously injure a person.

Staff noted that in addition to fines and restrictions for “aggressive” dogs, the FVRD has the ability to pursue a destruction order from the provincial courts if deemed necessary.

A recent instance of this occurred last year when the FVRD applied to have a dog euthanized after it viciously attacked a woman and her smaller dog in Garrison Crossing.

The attack left the woman with serious tendon damage and psychological trauma. She spoke to The Progress but asked that her name not be used because of the criminal history of the large pit bull’s owner, Kristopher Benson.

Benson fled the scene of the attack later keeping it hidden for nearly a month, even changing its colour. Because it was already deemed aggressive it was microchipped so was found soon after.

Benson defended his dog in court, but Judge Andrea Ormiston sided with the FVRD and ordered the large pit bull destroyed.

“It is my conclusion [that the dog] is a significant risk to the public that can’t be managed by his owner,” Ormiston decided.

• READ MORE: Pit bull involved in vicious attack in Chilliwack to be destroyed

• RELATED: B.C. woman shaken ‘like a rag doll’ in devastating dog attack


@PeeJayAitch
paul.henderson@theprogress.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Mission author to sign copies of her first book

Wendy Fraser will be at Totally Book-ish in the Junction Mall on Nov. 21

BREAKING: Vehicle fire on Highway 1 between Chilliwack and Abbotsford

One westbound lane blocked after 11:30 a.m. on Friday leading to traffic delays

Toxic smell returns to Abbotsford elementary school raising health concerns for students, teachers and parents

King Traditional Elementary suffers daily from neighbouring waste-storage facility’s stench

UFV Town and Gown dinner raises more than $245,000

Of the total raised, $100,000 will go toward a new Peace and Reconciliation Centre

Is the drinking water in Mission schools safe?

‘No students or staff are drinking lead-impacted water,’ says superintendent Angus Wilson

VIDEO: Disney Plus adds disclaimer about racist stereotypes

Disney’s disclaimer is a good way to begin discussion about the larger issue of racism

Port Alberni mom takes school district to court over Indigenous smudging, prayer in class

Candice Servatius, who is an evangelical Christian, is suing School District 70

New case of vaping-related illness in Quebec brings national total to 8

Quebec health minister considering tightening the rules around vaping products

Greens to vote against Liberal throne speech unless carbon targets toughened: May

Green leader Elizabeth May and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau met Friday, discussing common ground

Falling tree crushes front of SUV carrying Surrey woman, granddaughters

City confirms ‘failure’ has triggered risk assessment of Croydon Drive trees

First Nations ‘optimistic’ about road upgrades after Horgan visits site of fatal bus crash

Premier travelled Bamfield Main road, where bus flipped last September and two students were killed

Delays seen on some Metro Vancouver bus routes as transit strike ramps up

According to TransLink, routes in downtown Vancouver are bearing the brunt of the delays

Princeton couple pays for dream vacation with 840,000 grocery store points

It’s easy if you know what you are doing, they say

Most Read