RDCO issues statement on Shadow
Jul 23, 2012 / 10:54 pm
The RCDO released the following statement Monday afternoon regarding Shadow, and Alaskan Malamute.
Shadow has been in the RDCO dog pound for the last 15 months, after she was accused of biting a woman's leg in Lake Country.
The matter did go before a court earlier this month, but was adjourned until January of 2013, leaving Shadow's life hanging in the balance.
This is the statement issued by the RDCO:
The Regional District of Central Okanagan presents the following facts:
- On April 27th, 2011 Regional District Dog Control received a report of a dog attack-person bitten on Middle Bench Road in Lake Country on March 26th, 2011.
- The injuries suffered were severe and required a lengthy treatment and rehabilitation
- The victim identified an Alaskan Malamute dog named Shadow as the aggressor and RDCO Dog Control began an immediate investigation.
- On May 1st, 2011 RDCO dog control seized the dog under Section 49 of the Community Charter.
- In July 2011, a trial date was set for July 2012 to hear arguments on a Destruction Order.
- On April 20th, 2012 a Provincial Court judge ruled the seizure was improper since no warrant was obtained and the judge gave the Regional District five days to get an approved warrant.
- On April 24th, 2012 the Regional District obtained a warrant to seize the dog alleged to have bitten a person on March 26th, 2011.
- On January 3, 2012 the hearing for the dog owners’ application for interim release of their dog was dismissed by a Provincial Court judge.
- In February 2012 a consent order offer was made by the Regional District to the dog owners to release the dog including a number of conditions provided to protect public safety.
- If accepted, this consent order, would have returned the dog to its owners and finally conclude this matter. The offer was refused by the dog owners.
- On Monday and Tuesday last week, July 16th and 17th, the Provincial Court trial began hearing evidence and the case has been adjourned, likely to continue in January 2013.
- While there are witness statements that conflict with the victim's statement, the Regional District is not in a position to make a judgement.
- The judge will determine the outcome of the case, based on all the evidence that is presented.
The Regional District would like to address a number of issues of concern raised by the public.
- The Regional District does not believe it is appropriate for any dog to be held for extended periods of time in its dog pound facility, but it is bound to protect the safety and interests of the public and all ratepayers in the Central Okanagan. Consent orders are a tool to avoid keeping dogs for long periods of time.
- Criminal, family and civil court matters are the priority for the courts and it makes it difficult to get dog bylaw cases before the courts in a timely manner. Counsel for the Regional District has been told on several occasions by judges that dog bylaw cases are not more important than civil, family or criminal cases.
Last Friday, July 20th, the Regional District offered a revised consent order to the dog owners. Among the conditions are secure fencing, behaviour training and control when outside the fenced area. The Regional District is awaiting a response.
The Regional District regrets this situation and is concerned about the welfare of the dog, but will consider only one option other than continuing to house the dog at the RDCO pound and that is for the owners to take their dog back under the conditions of the revised consent order.
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