Officials are looking into dogs killing sheep in Parksville, but admit they may not be able to do anything.
“The suspected dogs may be residents of Martindale,” said Tom Armet, Regional District of Nanaimo (RDN) director of bylaw services, “but we might not be able to identify them.”
Shelly Gibson of the Shelly Farm in Parksville said that on Wednesday, May 11, her brother-in-law saw what he believed to be two pit bulls and a boxer come onto the property and kill two sheep.
They lost a yearling that was meant for breeding and a six-year-old they use for herding with border collies, out of a herd of 12 that live in the field.
Gibson didn’t hide her emotions as she showed graphic pictures the butcher took of the fatal injuries.
“One had it’s ear ripped off, the skin torn off the throat and they were bad enough they had to be turned into ground meat,” she said.
She said she’d reported it to all the authorities, including police, the RDN and the City of Parksville, but hadn’t heard any progress and is nervous about the dogs, which she said are rumoured to have killed deer.
“Once they get a taste for this kind of thing…” she said, trailing off at the thought, adding she was worried they might go after humans next. “What if that had been a little kid?”
Armet said that the City of Parksville is investigating, since the farm is within city boundaries, but they are in contact about whether the dogs live on Martindale Road, which is within the RDN.
He said if they can positively identify the dogs and they meet specific criteria, like being aggressive to humans or killing animals, they can declare them dangerous dogs and impose restrictions on the owners including keeping them secure on the property and requiring muzzles and leashes when off the property.
Any investigation and enforcement for the RDN is done by an outside animal control contractor, Armet said.
Parksville Mayor Marc Lefebvre said he hadn’t heard about the attack, but said the city and RDN have a great relationship and work closely on cross boundary issues like that.
“I have a great memory and I don’t remember anything like (that attack) in the city in a long, long time,” Lefebvre said.
The Parksville bylaw office and RCMP couldn’t be reached for comment.