Stories prove leash bylaw needs changing
| Posted: Wednesday, Oct 17, 2012 03:16 pm
Barry Zubewich says he has seen no evidence to support an on-leash bylaw so let me enlighten him because two years ago while I was picking up crab apples in my backyard, a large Doberman/lab cross entered my yard approaching from behind me and started to growl.
I picked up my large bucket and started backing up into my rake set against a tree and managed to fend off the dog’s attack with both bucket and rake. The dog’s attack was vicious enough that he tore up some lawn trying to get at me. I finally drove the dog off down the street only to have a young mother appear with baby carriage, another child and a small dog on leash. The dog started back towards the young mother and I was able to cut off the dog brandishing my bucket and rake. Fortunately, a neighbour called the police, who quickly responded, followed the dog home and laid charges. The dog was never seen again.
More recently, on Sept. 19 I represented a young St. Albert mother in Edmonton Provincial Court who had been attacked by a young Great Dane, which jumped her from behind, knocking her down and biting her severely. The dog owner had a rider on his insurance policy so we were dealing with an insurance adjuster at a pre-trial. The judge advised the adjuster that there clearly was liability so the only matter to resolve was the amount of the claim, which was settled that afternoon. A mature, well-trained Great Dane can be a wonderful pet but as experience proved, an immature Great Dane has an inbred propensity to attack, and sometimes without provocation or reason. This story should be a good reason for dog owners to ensure that you carry insurance on your dog.
Both my stories support the need for on-leash bylaws.
I believe that council should find a safe balance between strict enforcement of on-leash rules in all public places including walkways and also provide an off-leash area where dogs can be let free but still under the control of the owner.
Bob Russell, St. Albert