NEWS

Verdict Expected For Okanagan Death Row Dog

07/31/2012 08:07 EDT | Updated 09/30/2012 05:12 EDT
A Kelowna provincial court judge has decided the fate of a dog that has been on "death row" for the past year and a half, but the dog's owner will have to wait a few days to know the ruling.

Dave Smith's dog Diesel has been the subject of 10 complaints, ranging from charging at children to chasing cats, since 2006.

The Regional District of Central Okanagan says the six-year-old German shepherd mix is aggressive and should be put down, but Smith is fighting the order. In the meantime, Diesel has been locked in the district dog pound.

Smith brought in a dog behaviour expert to assess the dog for his court battle against the regional district.

"He's not a dangerous dog. He's a very big dog, yes. He's a playful dog. Not a dangerous dog in the least," Smith said in June.

While the case has worked its way through the courts over the past 17 months, Smith says he hasn't been able to take Diesel home and is waiting anxiously for the verdict.

"There's a certain amount of stress. Then there's also a certain amount of anticipation 'cause I expect Diesel is coming home," said Smith.

"It's been a long haul for myself and a much longer haul for Diesel, but hopefully there'll be a positive resolution," he said.

Smith said he heard that the judge filed his decision on Tuesday afternoon, but it won't be made public for two or three days.

Regional district spares 'Shadow'

Last week, the regional district settled out of court with another Okanagan family whose dog it had also planned to put down.

Owner Jennifer Madsen said her family and the district agreed to a rehabilitation and training program for their dog, Shadow.

"It's like huge weight has been lifted off our shoulders," she said. "We're happy. Oh, it's sure good to see her out the back door every morning."

Madsen says she is looking to work with the Regional District to find a better way of dealing with dangerous dog complaints.