The Regional District of Nanaimo this week released funds to pay for its share of the cost of dealing with a vicious dog attack — and it tightened its regulation on problem dogs in hopes of preventing a repeat.
The incident took place in November of 2011 when two dogs attacked a dog and its owner in Qualicum Beach. Both dog and owner required medical attention as a result. At last week’s meeting, Tom Armet, the acting general manager for strategic and community development for the RDN said the unprovoked attack saw the Town of Qualicum Beach declare the two dogs as vicious. Both dogs and owner lived in Errington, so the RDN and the town jointly obtained a warrant and had the dogs seized.
The owner was given a court order with strict conditions but this order was breached shortly thereafter, resulting in the dogs being seized in October of 2012 and destroyed. The town billed the RDN $7,538, which represented half the legal costs and boarding fees for the dogs. At Tuesday’s meeting, Armet urged directors to free up the money from the Area F animal control reserve fund, which directors voted unanimously to do.
As well, he proposed amendments to the animal control bylaw in relation to the incident, saying the current bylaw requirements to leash vicious dogs while in public do not go far enough to protect people or other animals against lunging or escaped vicious dogs.
His proposal was to require dogs that had been declared vicious to be required to wear muzzles while in public, as well as being on a leash. The requirement was passed unanimously, but still needs to be ratified at the next full board meeting.