Diesel's owner submits counter offer

Peachland resident Dave Smith has once again issued a counter offer to the Regional District of the Central Okanagan in an attempt to save his dog.

Diesel, a German Shepherd cross, has been locked up in dog control for the last 22 months after what Smith describes was a dog fight for which his pet was not responsible for causing.

The issue was taken to court and on August 9, Provincial Judge McKimm declared Diesel a 'dangerous dog'.

Diesel was set to be euthanized, however Smith appealed the judge's decision and in December the RDCO made a new offer which they believed would have provide Diesel with the highest likelihood of success.

The proposal required Diesel to be transferred to a new owner through an anonymous adoption by a dog rescue agency approved by the RDCO.   Diesel would remain outside the jurisdiction of the RDCO with an owner who can provide Diesel a safe and secure environment.

Smith rejected the offer and made a counter response asking Diesel to be returned to him under these conditions:

  • Diesel shall be confined inside the house, in a secured enclosure to prevent him from escaping
  • Diesel will be muzzled and leashed while on public property or private property not owned by Smith
  • Smith will participate in dog training/ behavioural program with Diesel
  • Each party shall bear their own costs of the court proceedings

However during the August court proceedings Judge McKimm found Smith to be an irresponsible dog owner and stated that Diesel is not to be returned to him. Bruce Smith of the RDCO, told Castanet as a result of the judges findings, the Regional District will not be returning the dog to Smith, unless ordered to do so by the court and will also be rejecting the counter offer.

"Their offer was apparently a none-negotiable offer, which seemingly is a personal vendetta against me. Their offer to release Diesel is essentially supporting the fact that he is not a dangerous dog and it is more about me," says Diesel's owner Smith of the RDCO's offer.

In response Bruce Smith directed Castanet to the December proposal, which stated in order to save Diesel they would ask the court to vacate the euthenization order.

The December proposal also stated that returning Diesel to Smith would compromise given public safety concerns and the court order.

Dave Smith claims to be a decent dog owner whose lived in the Regional District since 1978 and has owned several dogs.

"I've licensed my dogs every year and I have never had an issue such as this."

As a dog lover and a man whose exhausted every effort to have Diesel be set free, some would think Smith should have jumped at the RDCO's December offer.

"My concern is this, the Regional District has spent 22 months trying to kill my dog they have fought against my appeal and done this and that. Now all of the sudden they are going to anonymously adopt him out to someone place I don't know where he is. I have never seen an attitude change with a response to a counter offer, I have never seen an attitude change regarding Diesel. So yes I am concerned for his (Diesel's) life, I feel if he is adopted and no one knows where he is he will be dead shortly there after," explains Smith.

The RDCO did not respond to these comments made by Smith.

Part of Smith's counter offer also outlined Smith's intentions to move out of the area by summer 2013, as his house is for sale, therefore removing both himself and Diesel (if the dog was returned to him), out of the RDCO.

However Regional District’s legal counsel is providing a response to Mr. Smith’s lawyer, declining the counter-offer.

The case will now be brought before a Supreme court judge on Monday and last for two days. Smith believes there will be many supporters behind him during the proceedings, while the Regional District's lawyer will represent their body of government.

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