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Don Brown, an animal control bylaw officer with the Capital Regional District in Victoria, says the owner of five to eight pit bulls believed responsible for multiple attacks was identified through licence plate checks. ((CBC))

A warrant has been issued for a B.C. man whose pit bulls are believed to have attacked people and small dogs in the Lower Mainland and on Vancouver Island.

An animal control bylaw officer with the Capital Regional District in Victoria said Thursday that there have been eight attacks in the past 11 months — six in Surrey and two on Vancouver Island.

In the most recent attack, the owner of the pit bulls apparently tried to stop his dogs and was injured himself, needing 50 stitches to close all the wounds, Don Brown said.

"If we don't get these dogs, it's just a matter of time before another attack is going to occur," Brown said.

The Capital Regional District comprises 13 municipalities and three electoral areas on Vancouver Island.

A jogger and cyclist were injured by pit bulls in two separate incidents in Surrey. The other six incidents involved other dogs being mauled, two of which died from their injuries.

The latest attack occurred on a wooded path in North Saanich on July 7, where a woman and her little dog, Sofi, ran into a pack of four pit bulls, Brown said.

The little dog approached the pit bulls to play but was mauled to death, he said.

Cheryl Relf, a nearby resident who witnessed the latest attack, said the owner of the pit bulls was hurt himself when he tried to stop his dogs.

"I was afraid to go near the [dog owner's] car. They were almost coming through the windows. They were jumping at the windows," Relf said.

The Capital Regional District has classified the dogs as dangerous and is asking the public for tips on the owner's whereabouts.

Hal Harris is believed to be the owner of the pit bulls thought to be responsible for the eight attacks, Brown said. Harris, identified through licence plate checks, is thought to have five to eight pit bulls.

Harris was seen driving a 1995 green Dodge Caravan and is listed as living at 2048 Weiler Ave. in Sidney, B.C., but has left, Brown said.

He's described as about 55 years old, tall and slim, with long grey curly hair and a beard.