Fresh discussions on dog control in Nunavut
Last week's tragic death of a four-year old boy from the Baffin Island hamlet of Pangnirtung, Nunavut has Nunavut residents talking about dog control.
Sabock Akpalialuk died after he was attacked by three sled dogs that had broken free of their chains.
Iqaluit City Councillor Jimmy Kilabuk, who has raised the issue of stray dogs repeatedly, said in Inuktitut that the tragedy in Pangnirtung could have happened anywhere in Nunavut
"That has occurred here before also with a sled-dog — it is a reality. It hurts very much, hearing about that child passing away," he said.
Iqaluit resident Kowisa Arlooktoo says he always keeps an eye on his dog. In fact, nearly 20 years ago, he saved a young girl from an attack in Kimmirut.
"I just ran down picked up a piece of wood … and tried to scare the dogs off. But the dogs wouldn't let go of the girl so I just grabbed her. As soon as I grabbed her the dogs just sat there," he said.
Many residents rely on by-law officers in Nunvaut to prevent loose dogs from attacking people.
But Doug Vincent, an enforcement officer for the City of Iqaluit, says there is only so much the by-law department can do.
"Obviously we would like people to control their dogs. That is a requirement by our by-law," he said. "There's lots of reasons dogs get loose — doors get opened, they get off their chains, ropes get chewed through," he said.