A jarring dog attack in Fairmont Hot Springs should be a wake up call to many valley residents. While the animal threats we’re often made aware of involve bears, cougars and other wildlife, it’s worth considering the dangers posed by supposedly domesticated animals.
A small dog was savagely attacked and killed in the incident last Tuesday, and if not for a fence separating a pair of vicious dogs from a youngster inside, there could have been a far worse outcome.
Obviously the dogs themselves cannot be blamed for much of this. While certain breeds may have more aggressive tendencies, it’s ultimately up to owners to ensure their dogs are well-trained and leashed when they need to be.
A dog control officer in the regional district’s electoral areas F and G can seize or detain a dangerous dog in the interest of public safety, reads the regional district’s website. It defines a dangerous dog as “one that has seriously injured a person or companion animal or is likely to do so”. Interestingly, the cost of a dog license for a pit bull terrier is $1,000 in the Columbia Valley — where any other breed would cost a maximum of $30 to get licensed.
While the local licensing fees won’t apply to out-of-province dog owners, it’s a good step to ensure local owners of such breeds take responsibility, financial and otherwise, for their animals. It’s clearly needed to keep people and pets safe — at least until such time as all dog owners get the message.