A concerned Port Hardy mother wants to remind pet owner’s of the responsibilities of owning a dog. The mother’s concern came about from an incident involving her son, who was attacked by an aggressive dog along a trail near a local elementary school.
The mother requested to stay anonymous, but she was open to an in-person interview. “That day he went to school, his grandpa went with him. There is a trail by Pine Drive that goes through the woods down to the civic centre, and his school is right there. When he came come he came running up the stairs balling his eyes out,” she said. “The grandpa then told me that a dog had lunged at him, twice, and bit him in the arm. They didn’t puncture the skin but there were bruises already.”
“There was a lady with two dogs walking down the trail and the dogs started walking towards my son and his grandpa,” the mother added. “And then the lady said, ‘don’t look the dog in the eyes,’ so the son said, ‘I looked at the dog,’ and then the grandpa was in the front” of the son. The grandpa then shoved the dog away after the dog had bitten the son.
During the incident, the mother reportedly stated that the female owner had little control over her dogs. “‘I can’t control my dog, I’m sorry, I can’t control my dog,'” the lady had said according to the mother. The dogs were in fact off leash at the time of the incident. The lady also reportedly did not stop to check in on the son or grandpa.
The Port Hardy mother believes the owner already knew the dogs were aggressive, after having stated “don’t look the dogs in the eyes” before the attack had occurred. After the attack, the grandpa and mother drove around trying to spot the dogs and lady.
According to other Port Hardy residents, this is not an isolated incident involving the same dogs. The dogs have reportedly attacked other residents.
The mother then complained initially to the Port Hardy RCMP detachment who then referred her to animal control. An animal control officer visited the mother, son and grandpa during the afternoon after the attack. The animal control officer followed protocol and has dealt with the situation, but the mother believes this is the second report for the same dogs.
Port Hardy’s animal care and control bylaw states that “an owner shall ensure his or her animal does not run at large within the municipality.”
In the same bylaw, the Port Hardy district stipulates that “no owner of a dog shall permit his or her dog, without provocation, to … chase, bite or attack any person.” The bylaw also makes mention of owners who have dogs that are not on a leash must “ensure that the dog does not cause injury to any person.”
After a follow up from animal control, the dogs must be on a leash and must go to obedient school. The mother wants to remind residents of the bylaw and of responsible pet ownership to keep residents safe from future incidents.