British Columbia

Owner of 5 dogs that allegedly attacked smaller dog fined $750, Coquitlam RCMP say

RCMP in Coquitlam, B.C., say a a 36-year-old man has been identified and charged with bylaw violations after an alleged dog attack in the city's Burke Mountain area.

Man, 36, left the scene after smaller animal was left badly hurt

One of the images taken in the Burke Mountain area, distributed by Coquitlam RCMP, that police say was helpful in identifying the owner of five dogs that allegedly attacked a smaller dog Monday. (Coquitlam RCMP)

RCMP in Coquitlam, B.C., say a 36-year-old man has been fined for bylaw violations after an alleged dog attack in the city's Burke Mountain area.

Officers were called to the area of Harper Road and Strawline Hill Street at about 8:30 p.m. PT Monday after witnesses reported five off-leash dogs had attacked a smaller dog, badly hurting it, according to a statement Wednesday.

Police said the owner of the dogs left the scene and refused to give his name, but bystanders were able to capture images of him.

The suspect was identified and fined five counts of walking with an animal off-leash under section 10.1 of the Coquitlam Animal Care and Control Bylaw. The fines carry a penalty of $150 each.

"We want to thank those people who recognized the suspect and called police," said Coquitlam RCMP Cpl. Michael McLaughlin.

Video posted to social media

RCMP said some of the incident, which was captured on video and posted to social media, helped the public identify the suspect.

"At the same time, we ask that people avoid posting controversial incidents to social media," McLaughlin said.

"These videos never tell the full story and they often lead to tension and anger in the community."

Family upset

The family of the dog that was allegedly attacked, Romeo, has been left with $2,000 in vet bills, with more expected, according to one of the daughters.

"He has three deep puncture wounds on his back and near his bottom. It's sort of sliced all the way down to his lower belly," said the daughter, who has been granted anonymity because she says she now fears for her personal safety.

She described an intense scene on Monday evening, that she says left her mother traumatized and afraid to walk in the area. She said her mother picked up Romeo when she saw the five off-leash dogs, and one of the dogs came over and started sniffing her.

"And then all of a sudden, the rest of the dogs rushed her and they started attacking Romeo in her arms and they ripped him out of her arms and my dad and her were screaming and kicking and trying to get the dogs off of Romeo," the daughter said.

The daughter said she's not satisfied with the five bylaw tickets as a penalty for the owner of the dogs.

"I mean, that's nothing, right?" she said. "It doesn't seem like he's really getting the right punishment for what he's caused."

Coquitlam RCMP said in its released statement that they've encouraged the people involved in the incident to use the civil court system to pursue further compensation, rather than personal interactions.

With files from Yvette Brend