HERGOTT: Another dog attack in the Okanagan

Paul Hergott is a personal injury lawyer based in West Kelowna

Another off leash dog has attacked, this time seriously injuring a smaller dog. The attack occurred May 4, 2020, on a trail on Conkle Mountain in Summerland. The large dog reportedly clamped onto the backside of a Havanese named Salsa and shook her back and forth like a rag doll.

Our outdated laws will make it difficult to hold the larger dog’s owner accountable for the vet bills, currently over $2,000.00. The owner apparently said they thought their dog would be ok off leash. Our antiquated laws require proof that the owner was aware of their pet’s dangerous disposition.

But compensation laws are about mopping up messes that are usually completely avoidable.

Like this one.

Dog attacks, where one dog attacks another while on a walk with their owners, would not occur if dog owners followed basic dog walking etiquette.

I shouldn’t say “basic”. It took a bit of googling for me to learn about it.

But only a bit. And on reading a couple articles on the subject it boils down to common sense.

The key etiquette guidelines, apart from “scoop your poop”?

Always leash your dog.

And get consent from others, including other dog walkers, before letting your dog have contact with the other person or other dog.

This might sound like it comes out of left field, but I will briefly tell the story of a Kelowna Chamber of Commerce event I attended last year.

I had received an award on behalf of Hergott Law. As the event was winding down, I sought out the judges to thank them for their volunteer contributions.

When greeting people in a warm way, my instinct is to reach out to warmly shake the hands of men and to extend my arms to embrace the women.

One woman judge had to recoil and dodge to the side to avoid me! It was a wake up moment for this old dinosaur. I was completely clueless to the possibility that I might be making anyone uncomfortable. I wonder what multitude of women in my past have withstood the discomfort of my warm embrace so as to avoid the awkwardness of a recoil / dodge.

An analogy can be drawn with dog owner.

We love our pets. And we know them (or think we do) really well. When people come to my door, my dogs are thrown into a yapping frenzy. I regularly say “Don’t worry – they just want to be petted”, without physically restraining them.

However 100 percent certain I might be that my dogs wouldn’t hurt a mouse, the person at the door might have had a previous bad experience with a dog, have an allergy or simply not enjoy a little yapper sniffing at their feet. I wonder how many of those people have felt uncomfortable because of my failure to physically restrain my little yappers.

The articles I read very effectively articulate the “common sense” around this issue. E-mail me and I will send you links.

A neat video on point:

Unless you have cleared it with them in advance, allowing your dog to come in contact with anyone, or their dog, is just plain rude.

But the world of dog walkers seems as clueless as I had been. On some walks around our neighbourhood in Rose Valley, more dogs are off leash than on. And they regularly come sniffing around.

Is there a way to smarted up the world of dog owners as effectively as the “me too” movement has helped smarted up men?

Next week I will discuss that puzzle. I will also review how dog bylaws fit, hand in glove, with common sense etiquette.

Missed last week’s column?

HERGOTT: Accountability of being a pet owner

About Paul Hergott, Personal Injury Lawyer:

Paul began practicing law in 1995 in a general litigation practice. Of the various areas of litigation, he became most drawn to and passionate about pursuing fair compensation for personal injury victims, which has gradually became his exclusive area of practice. Paul’s practice is restricted to acting only for the injured victim, never for ICBC nor for other insurance companies.

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/hergottlaw/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/personalinjurylawfirm/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/hergott_law?lang=en

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/c/HlawCanada

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

dog attack

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

About one-sixth of students in School District 83 choose to ‘restart’ June 1

Superintendent of schools expects numbers may increase as word of safety protocols spreads

Drugs, machete found in truck with stolen plate driven by Salmon Arm man

Chase RCMP arrest driver and have vehicle towed

Okanagan home sales increase over last month, still below 2019 numbers: OMREB

Sales, listings see increase over May’s numbers but dwindle in comparison to 2019

Column: Shuswap Emergency Program an important asset for region

Council Report by City of Salmon Arm Councillor Kevin Flynn

Trial of accused in Salmon Arm church shooting expected to be brief

Crown won’t dispute not criminally responsible by way of a mental disorder defence

B.C. records four new COVID-19 cases, Abbotsford hospital outbreak cleared

Four senior home outbreaks also declared over, eight still active

Pilot project approved: Penticton to allow alcohol in outdoor spaces

For almost two hours, council debated the proposed pilot project, before eventually passing it 4-2

RCMP, coroner investigate murder-suicide on Salt Spring Island

Two dead, police say there is no risk to the public

About 30% of B.C. students return to schools as in-class teaching restarts amid pandemic

Education minister noted that in-class instruction remains optional

Trudeau avoids questions about anti-racism protesters dispersed for Trump photo-op

Prime minister says racism is an issue Canadians must tackle at home, too

Top cop calls video of Kelowna Mountie striking suspect ‘concerning’

A video allegedly shows a Kelowna Mountie striking a man several times

B.C.’s Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics goes virtual

The annual event partnering RCMP with Special Olympians is dramatically altered by COVID-19

HERGOTT: Can you get money back if COVID-19 disrupts plans?

Paul Hergott is a personal injury lawyer based in West Kelowna

Bateman program encourages people to sketch outside, connect with nature

#MyNatureSketch initiative encourages Canadians to become ‘bright-eyed three year olds’

Most Read