A North Vancouver dog owner is liable to pay $1002.53 after her off-leash dog attacked and injured another dog.
The Civil Resolution Tribunal ordered Shahab Malek-Afazli to pay $1002.53 to Julie Walker, after finding that her dog Muffin was bitten by Bibi, the off-leash dog owned by Shahab.
The incident happened on May 19, when Julie’s friend was walking Muffin down on a residential street, and Bibi charged out of the yard and bit Muffin.
Bibi’s owner, Shahab, agreed that she opened the door and let Bibi out into her front yard with her children while she unpacked some groceries inside. Shahab says she didn’t not witness the encounter and it was unlikely that Bibi bit Muffin.
Muffin suffered one small, deep puncture wound to her perianal region. She was taken to the Mountainside Animal Hospital for treatment, which cost $870.74.
After the dog bite, the applicant handed out flyers in the neighborhood, asking people if they saw or heard the incident, or had any “prior experience with this dog being aggressive”.
A neighbour attested that she observed Bibi off leash and behaving aggressively toward her dogs. She also recounted seeing Bibi charge out of the yard onto the street, barking and approaching her black lab’ in an aggressive way.
Another neighbor wrote that in April 2019 Bibi attacked and bit her Maltese dog.
Shahab Malek-Afazli, however, told the tribunal that Bibi has no history of aggressive behavior and has never attacked another dog unprovoked.
She asks that the dispute be dismissed, but the Tribunal didn’t agree with her.
“I find that leaving Bibi unleashed and without adult supervision in a yard open to the street was not reasonable. The risk of injury was created by leaving Bibi unsupervised, with access to the street. This failure to keep Bibi reasonably leashed or supervised was the cause of the bite,” said Tribunal member, Julie K. Gibson.
“I find the respondent cannot excuse her responsibility for Bibi by demonstrating that sometimes other dogs are off leash.”
Shahab Malek-Afazli must pay the $1,002.53 within a month.