A Yellowknife family whose dog was run over by a SUV in a designated off-leash area wants the city to change its bylaws.

Daron Letts, his partner and their two young children were at the sandpits — a multi-use recreational area on the city limits – last week. Letts let his two dogs run off leash while his partner and their children played together in the sand. 


This dog named Kona was struck and killed by a SUV in an area designated by the City of Yellowknife for off-leash use by pet owners. (family photo)

Then Letts says an SUV tore through the area. With his two dogs nearby, he says he approached the vehicle to ask the driver to stop but the SUV sped off, mowing down their year-and-a-half-old dog, Kona.

"Then my Kona... had trouble standing and she barked and circled around and came to us and lay down," he said. "And I told Kona how much we loved her, and said goodbye."

He said he has the driver's name and licence plate number but hasn't reported it to the police. He said he believes the driver was negligent, but it was clearly an accident

He wants city council to remove the off-leash dog park designation for the multi-use area.

"As it sits now, the city seems to be encouraging the communal use of this space of SUV and truck drivers and dog-owning families," he said.

Deputy Mayor Mark Heyck said he has never heard of this happening before in the area.

"We identify the off-leash area on our website," he said. "If people ask, that's where we usually send them. People want to be able to run their dogs.

"It sounds as though this is a rather unusual situation, so our hope is everybody takes care — both vehicle users and dog owners."

Letts said he's taking his request to council. In the meantime, he said he won't return to the sandpits with his dog Dusty.