Letters to the Editor

Letter: B.C. dog laws have to be challenged in court

I am aware of two pieces of British Columbia legislation that need to be examined by the Supreme Court of Canada.  Both B.C. laws, in my opinion, need changes to conform with the Constitution's Charter of Rights, something both B.C. laws have not properly considered, in my opinion.

This month (April 2014), David Lloydsmith's six-year-long struggle to keep his Fraser Valley home from being seized ended when the B.C, Civil Forfeiture Office dropped its case against him. They had no case.

Another British Columbia man was less fortunate.  David Smith of Peachland had his property seized by the Regional District of Central Okanagan in March 2011.  Mr. Smith's property was a large friendly coon-hound looking dog named Diesel. The RDCO defined Diesel as dangerous, based on the belief of one person, an animal control officer.

B.C.'s Community Charter, Section 49 "Special Powers in Relation to Dangerous Dogs" gives such absolute power to animal control authorities. Mr. Smith fought to save Diesel's life all the way to the B.C. Supreme Court, but he failed to get his property returned. Indeed, he may even have failed to save his dog's life, whose end is unkown to this day. More than two years after being confined in a Kelowna pound, Diesel's fate was deciced by a B.C. Supreme Court Justice.  He ruled that Diesel be given to the RDCO dog control authorities, surely mindful of the fact that RDCO had sought the dog's death in both the provincial trial and his B.,C. Supreme Courtroom. Diesel was to be placed in the care of an anonymous dog rescue society, chosen by the RDCO, for an eventual anonymous home.  How ominous.

Publicly the RDCO Dog Control representative stated that euthanasia (a good death) was off the table. Good or sad outcomes, neither man should have been made to endure years of suffering based on questionable evidence.  These laws have to be challenged in the Supreme Court of Canada.

Helen Schiele,

Kelowna

 

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