Attack prompts City of Parksville to issue a reminder

Bylaw requires ‘vicious dogs’ to be muzzled while in public places

An incident with a pit bull in the dog park on Despard Ave. in Parksville this summer has led to a reminder they must be muzzled within the city.

In the last week of August during the usual routine of dog owners socializing and watching their dogs play in the off-leash park, a pit bull pinned another dog down by the neck and started attacking it, bylaw compliance officer Aaron Dawson said people reported.

“During the kerfuffle, or whatever you’d call it, the owner of the pit bull disappeared and we had no way to track the dog,” he said.

Dawson, who was on vacation at the time, doesn’t know what, if any, injuries the dog sustained, but it did survive and there were no human injuries reported.

That led to the posting of signs and more discussion and questions in the community, he said.

Parksville Bylaw 1284 (available at www.parksville.bc.ca) requires that any “vicious dog,” including any breed or cross breed of pit bull, must be muzzled while on the streets or in any public place.

Dawson said the bylaw was first passed in 1997 and the city does deal with a few dog-bite incidents a year.

He points out that fines are considerably higher for vicious dogs, which also include “any dog with a known tendency or disposition to attack without provocation or a dog that has bitten another domestic animal or human without provocation,” he said.

The fine for a dog at large for example is $75 for most dogs, $500 for vicious dogs. The owners of vicious dogs who don’t have their pets muzzled are subject to a $500 fine.

Contact the bylaw compliance officer at city hall at 250-954-3080 with questions or complaints about domestic animals within the city.

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