District of North Vancouver has fined a dog owner $300 after the dog attacked a four-year-old child in Deep Cove early last month.
On September 2, Sara Elahi and her family were about to enjoy their lunch outside a pizza joint on Gallant Avenue when a dog attacked her four-year-old son, Dani Elahi.
“All I remember is hearing Dani scream and me taking a dive on my knees to just grab him and kick the dog away. I fell back with Dani in my arms and at this point the dog owner had reached and picked up the dog at this point,” says Elahi.
Elahi says she soon realised that the dog had left her son with a serious injury.
“I looked down at Dani and noticed that my right hand was bloody. I moved my hand for a second and saw his ear torn up and earlobe hanging,” she says.
Dani was in surgery for over two hours at the Lions Gate Hospital to have his ear repaired, but the incident has left him scared, and his parents are now seeking therapy for him.
“Emotionally he is very traumatized and scared to leave the home,” Elahi says.
She says the dog had a leash on, but it was not tied to anything. The dog was sitting under a table off-leash, she adds.
Elahi says she would like DNV to set heavy fines for owners who have their dogs off leash where they aren’t supposed to be and to ensure that dog owners take this responsibility seriously.
“I certainly don’t think a $300 fine is going to teach a lesson. It’s a joke really. I don’t know what the purpose of this entire process is because it certainly doesn’t protect the public from a clearly aggressive dog, it doesn’t hold the owner accountable in any way with such a ridiculous fine, and it most certainly does not cover the physical, emotional, and financial trauma and expense that my family has incurred through this,” Elahi says.
She would also like DNV to take immediate action when something like this happens.
“There’s so much risk of this happening again with this dog, and we are waiting for them to review the incident. I feel like the matter is being taken very lightly,” she says.
Cassie Brondgeest, communications coordinator with DNV, says the district takes this type of incident very seriously.
“We take this type of incident very seriously. The dog involved meets the definition of ‘aggressive’ as defined in our Dog Tax and Regulation Bylaw (5981). This means that certain requirements must be met if the dog returns to the District of North Vancouver, including: the dog must be leashed and muzzled; and the dog must be under the owners’ control at all times,” Brondgeest says.
Besides issuing a ticket, the DNV has also notified the dog owner’s home municipality about the incident.
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