Attacking pit bull put down

No charges are being recommended against the owner, and bylaw says there's nothing stopping him from getting another dog

A debate over pit bulls and their owners is growling its way through social media after an attack on a woman.

The dog that attacked a woman outside a convenience store has been put down.

But police say there isn’t enough evidence to support charges against the owner.

On Monday (June 20) at about 10:20 a.m., Brenda Moon, 63, was walking by a convenience store at 91 Avenue and 120 Street when she was attacked by a grey and white pit bull.

While the dog was on a leash, the owner was not holding it and the dog lunged at Moon’s forearm.

Her injuries were significant. Moon suffered severe lacerations and bones were sticking out of her arm. At least one surgery was required.

While she was on the ground bleeding, she said the man with the dog grabbed it and said he was taking it home. Moon said he made no effort to assist her.

The dog was surrendered to Surrey’s Animal Control Office, and it has been put down.

Police say there is not enough evidence to support charges against the owner.

They say the most likely avenue they might have pursued is a charge of criminal negligence.

Under the Criminal Code of Canada, section 219, a person is guilty of criminal negligence if they omit “to do anything that is his duty to do (and) shows a wanton or reckless disregard for the lives or safety of other persons.”

Surrey RCMP Sgt. Alanna Dunlop said there is not sufficient evidence to support that charge against the owner.

“That would cover off any possibility that you could imagine when they looked at the circumstances,” Dunlop said Friday. She notes that the file remains open, and if new evidence comes forward, that position might change.

“An investigation is never, ever closed, because there always is the possibility that there could be additional information — that goes for any investigation,” Dunlop said.

Surrey Manager of Bylaw Enforcement Jas Rehal said the dog was located by police Thursday, and it was surrendered by the owner when bylaw officers arrived.

It was euthanized that afternoon.

Rehal said the dog was not licensed and had no previous encounters with the bylaw department.

He noted there is nothing in the Dog Responsibility Bylaw that prohibits an owner from obtaining another animal.

“There’s no real tool to say he can’t have another dog,” Rehal said. If he comes in to license another animal, bylaw officers can speak with him about proper training, but nothing beyond that.

Surrey council will be considering a resolution on Monday to revisit the city’s current dog bylaw.