Supreme Court judge rules dangerous Peachland dog should be put down

Jake, a seven-year-old perro de presa canario, and another dog, attacked a leashed lhasa apso cross Jan. 1, 2015 while running of leash.

A death sentence handed to a Peachland dog by a B.C. provincial court judge has been upheld by the B.C. Supreme Court.

The appeal of the lower court’s ruling, handed down last year, was made by the dog’s owner Drew Panton, in a last-ditch effort to prevent the court-ordered euthanization of his seven-year-old perro de presa canario dog, named Jake.

In his written judgment, judge Ronald Skolrood of the B.C. Supreme Court upheld the earlier decision by the late provincial court judge Anne Wallace, who ruled Jake was a dangerous dog as defined by section 49 (10) of the B.C. Community Charter after Jake and a pitbull owned by Panton attacked a leashed, 12-year-old lhasa apso-Wheaton terrier cross named Charley on New Years Day 2015. As a result of the attack, Charley had to be put down.

In her earlier ruling, Wallace also found Jake to be a danger to other dogs and said she felt he could seriously injure or kill them if let loose. She said she felt there was no way of managing or eliminating that risk, so she ordered Jake be put down.

In the New Year’s Day attack, Jake was accompanied by a pitbull named Buddy. Both dogs were off leash at the time and Panton was not present.

In the ensuing court case, the regional district asked that both the attacking dogs be put down. But Wallace ruled while Buddy was also a dangerous dog, his life should be spared and he should be returned to Panton under strict control conditions.

In his ruling, Skolrood upheld Wallace’s order of strict conditions for Buddy’s care to ensure public safety. They included locking doors when Buddy was inside Panton’s house so the dog could not inadvertently get out, being kept in a secured area with signs when in the yard and when out in public, being leased and muzzled at all times.

The Supreme Court judge dismissed the regional district’s argument that Wallae erred in not  ruling Buddy should be kept, when in the yard, in the type of enclosure required by the regional district’s Responsible Dog Ownership Bylaw.

Skolrood’s judgment also allows the regional district to seek to recover impound costs from Panton for providing care and shelter for Jake from the date of Wallace’s original order on Sept. 3 to the date of the appeal.