Okanagan man goes to court to save dog

A man from Peachland, B.C., is in court this week fighting to keep his dog Diesel alive. The regional district says the six-year-old German Shepherd cross is dangerous and should be put down.
Dog owner Dave Smith of Peachland, B.C., is trying to save his German shepherd cross Diesel from being put down by animal control officers. (Brady Strachan/CBC)

A man from Peachland, B.C., is in Kelowna Provincial Court this week fighting to keep his dog Diesel alive.

The Regional District of Central Okanagan says Diesel, a six-year-old German Shepherd cross, is dangerous and should be put down. His owner, Dave Smith, is fighting that order.

Since 2006, Diesel has had 10 complaints filed against him for everything from chasing cats to injuring another dog to frightening children.

In provincial court Monday, Britney Fedoruk testified that in 2007, Diesel charged at her barking, jumping and trying to bite her.

An animal control officer testified Diesel is aggressive and dominant, saying he is constantly barking, snarling and frothing at the mouth when staff take other dogs past his cage.

But Smith says animal control officers never properly investigated the complaints.

"He's not a dangerous dog. He's a very big dog, yes. He's a playful dog. Not a dangerous dog in the least," said Smith.

Smith said he plans to call a dozen witnesses over the course of the trial to support those claims.

Diesel has been kept at the regional district dog pound for the past 15 months as dog and owner awaited a court date.

With files from the CBC's Brady Strachan