Pit Bull attacks dog

UPDATE JUNE 2, 5:30 p.m.:

A witness to last Thursday night's dog attack at Springfield Road and Wilkinson Street has come forward with his recollection of events.

Josh Barltrop said he was ready to turn on to Wilkinson Street when a lady walking her dog hit the crosswalk button to cross Springfield.

"She was about halfway across the street and that pit bull just ran out of nowhere and straight across the street," said Barltrop.

"It wasn't like he was sniffing on the grass...he was on a mission."

Barltrop said the incident lasted for a couple of minutes.

"It took a few moments, but the guy, the owner of the pit bull, came running across the street. He was trying to get his dog off.

She also tried to get her dog away. She kind of got her dog in the clear a couple of times then they got at it again."

From what he saw Barltrop said it appeared to be an unprovoked attack.

"Even if the little guy started to bark or something in the beginning he had every right to because this other dog just came running across the street straight at him."

Regional District Communications Officer, Bruce Smith, would not comment directly on the file stating only the incident is still under investigation.

Tish Cooper, the girl friend of the pit bull owner, said in correspondence with Castanet that she has agreed to pay the vet bill and also acknowledged she has received a ticket for the dog running at large without a leash.

Because the dog did not have a history as an aggressive dog, Cooper said a ticket was not issued for the attack itself.

Cooper also said she has filed an assault complaint against the other dog's owner's partner stemming from an incident involving the two parties over the weekend. She says the man was taking down licence plate numbers on her property, when they came to see if Cooper would pay the vet bill. She says she went to him and took his pad away. She says he was trespassing and she had the right to get her information back and she claims she was assaulted when the man retrieved his notebook.

The man taking the notes says he also spoke with the RCMP, he says it was Cooper who became aggressive and grabbed his note pad away from him. He says he was taking down vehicle information in case they had to track the pit bull's owners down, if they did not pay for Domino's vet bill. He says the RCMP told him there will be no charges in the incident.

He also says the owner's of the pit bull have still not contacted them to say they will be paying for Domino's vet bill.

Kelowna RCMP confirmed the complaint was lodged.

Original story Sunday June 1: A pit bull attack on another dog has left the dog recovering from a leg injury and the owner with a nearly $800 vet bill.

On Thursday night around 9 p.m. at the intersection of Springfield Road and Wilkinson Street, Lisa Harrison was walking her five-year-old King Charles Cavalier Spaniel named Domino when an off-leash Pit Bull ran across the road and attacked her dog.

Harrison has walked Domino in the area up to three times per day for the past five years or so.

"The screams, it was awful," said Harrison. 

The Pit Bull wasn't even wearing a collar, leaving no place to grab the dog to try and pull it off. 

The owner of the Pit Bull was nearby and hauled it off before it could do more serious damage. As it is, the Spaniel is not supposed to put weight on the wounded leg for two weeks.

"At least I had the presence of mind - we got to the sidewalk and he was restraining the dog by the scruff of its neck - to say 'where do you live, you're going to pay the vet bill," she said. "I was angry."

The other owner gave his address and a neighbour who saw the altercation brought Harrison and Domino home.

"We went yesterday to present the vet bill and try to get the guy to pay," she said. "That was even more infuriating because they didn't take responsibility, they didn't apologize for the damage, they didn't ask how he was doing."

Harrison has now learned some legal techniques from the dog control officer for stopping a dog attack if one occurs.

They include:

  • Getting behind the dog and punching it in the torso behind the ribs and in front of the rear legs
  • Carry a stick to hit it in the rear, or without a stick, kick
  • Do not step between the dogs
  • Remember the law is on your side in fending off an attack

Harrison said that she was told by the Regional District that there are about 400 dog attacks per year in the Central Okanagan.

Bylaws state that all dogs must be licensed and must be on-leash while anywhere except off-leash dog parks.

A first-time offending dog is classified as aggressive, meaning it can't be off-leash at any time, even in off-leash dog parks. If a dog has caused serious harm or death to another animal or person it is classified as dangerous. 

No dog is permitted to be at large, meaning off the owner's property and off-leash.

Harrison said she is still trying to get the other owner to pay for the bill, but is not sure if going to small claims court would be worthwhile.

Instead, she said she will be vigilant and see if the owner is irresponsible again with the Pit Bull.

"I'll be bringing my iPad every time I go to the park, and if I see him off-leash, I'll snap a picture," she said. "Maybe we can get this dog muzzled or something."

"I just want people to know they have the right to defend their dog, and if it happens, yell, get some witnesses."


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