Surrey homeless man wants seized dog released

The SPCA in Surrey, B.C., has seized a homeless man's dog because it bit a stranger — but the dog's owner says his pet was just trying to protect him.
The Surrey SPCA has seized Ed Chase's dog Raymond. ((CBC))

The SPCA in Surrey, B.C., has seized a homeless man's dog because it bit a stranger — but the man says his pet was just trying to protect his owner.

Ed Chase told CBC News Wednesday that one of his two dogs, Raymond, was taken away almost three weeks ago and was deemed a dangerous dog by the B.C. Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. Chase has been living on a grass area in North Surrey for five years.

Chase said the SPCA has decided to put down the dog and notified him of a court proceeding on July 31. Earlier, the SPCA said it hadn't made a decision about whether the dog would be euthanized.

Chase said his dog was trying to save him after a man hit him.

"He started beating on the back of my head and grabbed me by the hair and pulled me down," Chase said of the alleged attacker. "And he was uppercutting me.

Ed Chase, with one of his two dogs, Darryl, wants the SPCA to release the second, which he says was protecting him from a stranger's attack when he bit the man. ((CBC))

"Ray, at that point, grabbed him by the leg," he said.

Chase was holding an anti-government protest sign at a gas station across the street from where he camped, something he said he does regularly.

Chase was waving the sign at a customer, who told him off. The two entered into an argument, which degenerated into a scuffle, Chase said.

Raymond Shaw, a North Surrey resident, said he lost a tooth when he intervened in the scuffle between Chase and the man.

"The dog was just protecting his owner. I don't know anybody who doesn't have a dog that wouldn't protect his owner," Shaw said Wednesday.

Surrey RCMP said the 58-year-old man who allegedly hit Chase was arrested and released under a promise to appear in court in September. No charges have been laid.

Chase said a $5,000 fine is required by Surrey bylaws to bail his dog out and he's been told Raymond needs to wear a muzzle in public.

He said he doesn't have the money.

"You're not speaking for animals. You're policing animals and that places you in a direct conflict of interest," Chase said of the SPCA.

A Facebook website has been set up with more than 500 members clamouring for Raymond's release.