BRITISH COLUMBIA

Pit Bull Attacks Raise Calls For Tough Restrictions (POLL)

09/13/2013 05:22 EDT | Updated 09/13/2013 05:22 EDT
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A pack of aggressive pit bulls is terrorizing a town east of Chilliwack B.C. and there's nothing the police can do about it.

According to The Chilliwack Times, 14-year-old Jonathan Zandberg and three friends were attacked by the dogs while riding their bikes on Yale Road East in the rural community of Popkum on Sept. 4.

Zandberg, who suffered a puncture wound to his legs and shredded shorts, tried to use his bike to fend the dogs off. While his friends got away on bikes and a longboard, the bleeding Zandberg was forced to discard his clumpy footwear and beat a retreat in his stocking feet.

The RCMP are powerless to do anything in Popkum because the Fraser Valley Regional District doesn't have an animal control bylaw. It will consider one in October but, Area D director Bill Dickey told The Times, due to budget constraints, no enforcement could begin until January next year.

Popkum isn't the only local community grappling with issues around pit bulls.

The City of Burnaby is currently looking at updating its animal control bylaw, setting higher fines and special licence fees for pit bulls and vicious dogs, The Burnaby NewsLeader reported on Monday.

Burnaby is one of three communities in Metro Vancouver that has a breed-specific animal control bylaw, alongside Richmond and West Vancouver.

City staff are basing the recommendation on statistics which show that in dog bite cases where the breed could be identified, 24.7 per cent were pit bulls and 14.6 per cent were German shepherds.

The recommendation comes over the objections of April Fahr, executive director of the HugABull advocacy group, who argues that very little research into pit bulls has taken place, Global News reported on Monday.

"The report they’re using as a basis is basically a very brief number crunch that doesn’t align with any other numbers we’ve seen," she told the network.

Burnaby council tabled the proposed revisions at its Monday meeting and will consider them again at a future date, the city clerk's office told The Huffington Post B.C.

The proposed changes come a year after a White Rock family called on the provincial government to ban pit bulls after their daughter Emma-Leigh Cranford's face was bitten savagely at a backyard barbecue.

Her mother Elizabeth Cranford said that the dogs should be banned in B.C. before "somebody else is not so fortunate."

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