RDCO pleased with Diesel decision

The Regional District of the Okanagan is satisfied with the Supreme Court ruling regarding the future of 'Diesel' the dog.

In a release to Castanet the RDCO states that the ruling confirms the Regional District's position on the critical importance of responsible dog ownership.
The Provincial Court ruling that ordered Diesel's euthanization was conditionally set aside by Justice Geoffrey Barrow. However he did agree with the trial judge that the dog is dangerous and should not be returned to Dave Smith and agreed with the judges’ conclusion that Smith has shown himself to be both unreliable and profoundly irresponsible. 

According to the RDCO Justice Barrow stated while he was satisfied that Diesel is dangerous, he is not so dangerous as to be beyond the ability of a responsible dog owner to control. 

Justice Barrow will hear a request to make a Conditional Order to allow the Regional District to have Diesel anonymously adopted outside the Central Okanagan.

Regional District Chief Administrative Officer Paul Macklem says he is pleased with the ruling because it saves Diesel and is consistent with the RDCO's previous position that protects the public and places ‘Diesel’ in a new home with a responsible owner. 

"This judgment is absolutely in line with what we requested and we stand united with all those people in our community and beyond who wanted a new life for Diesel.”

However Macklem is disappointed this one case has taken the time and resources of RDCO staff, including an estimated $75,000 in taxpayer funds for legal fees. 

"That’s money and time that could have been used toward our programming to protect the public and encourage responsible dog ownership, and implementing recommendations presented in the recent Dog Control Service Review," he says.

Macklem states this was an an unusual, protracted legal action and is certainly not a normal occurrence.

“Out of the guesstimated 35,000 dogs in the Central Okanagan, last year 685 dogs were impounded and none of them had to go through this kind of ordeal with a lengthy court proceeding.  This and two other cases since 2010 have been extraordinary in the history of the Regional District.  The vast majority of infractions are successfully resolved with cooperation of the owner in the interest of public safety without requiring the option of going to court.”

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