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Owner agrees to have dog put down after animal bites woman in Calgary

CALGARY — A dog owner in Calgary has chosen to have the animal put down after it unexpectedly attacked a woman and bit her.

Animal services officials say the woman had to go to hospital after she was bitten while out walking on Wednesday.

They say the leashed dog was passing her on the sidewalk and was not showing any signs of aggression.

The dog is to be destroyed after a mandatory 10-day quarantine.

The owner is facing a mandatory court appearance and could face a fine up to $10,000.

Animal services spokesman Alvin Murray suggests owners need to ensure proper behaviour in their pets.

“There’s a requirement on you as an owner — not a legal requirement, but a moral requirement — for you to take that dog and get it the proper training that ... to make it a good household pet,” he said Friday.

Murray said aggressive behaviour is a learned trait and can be reversed, but it must happen as early as possible in an animal’s life.

“Many times we’re able to see those things that could have maybe given us a heads-up and given the dog owner a heads-up, but they get ignored. When your dog starts to show any form of aggression whatsoever, you need to interrupt that behaviour.”

Aggressive behaviour isn’t specific to any one breed, he added.

“We get a lot of complaints about animals in general — whether it’s a pitbull, a German shepherd or a schnauzer. It doesn’t matter. At the end of the day, we treat all aggressive incidents.

“We take them seriously, we go after the owners and we hold the owners accountable.”

— With files from CHQR

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