A Ponoka man has requested Town of Ponoka update its animal bylaw after getting attacked by two dogs last year. File photo for illustration purposes only

Ponoka man attacked by dogs issues plea to town council

Troubles with bylaw and handling of court case prompts presentation to council

A Ponoka man who was attacked by two dogs last year is asking town council to increase penalties for dangerous dogs.

Frank Tschabold suffered numerous injuries after being bitten several times by a pair of dogs roaming at large along the Riverside trails last Aug. 29. He recently made an impassioned plea for council to make some serious updates.

He was invited to make a presentation by Coun. Kevin Ferguson after hearing about Tschabold’s story.

A still emotional Tschabold recounted the incident for council and asked administration about the miscommunication that has led to delays in having charges laid in the attack and the dogs dealt with.

“While walking along the trails, I was viciously attacked by two pit bulls running loose,” he stated, adding he never before had any concerns on his walks over the years.

“I fought them for a couple of blocks, defending myself with my walking poles. After sustaining a number of bites, I sought assistance at a house I was passing by.”

The homeowner called 911, but the dogs continued to attack until the RCMP arrived and used pepper spray to stop them.

Tschabold was taken by police to hospital, while the dogs were captured and taken to kennels. The dogs are still being held and the female has since had six puppies, with the cost of boarding the dogs mounting by the day.

“I was literally in a fight for my life until the RCMP arrived and came to my rescue. I’m sure the outcome would have been different if I had not had my walking poles,” he added.

The incident left him treating wounds for months, and the experience has left him emotional, while also wondering why this breed of dog is allowed in town.

As for the two young people who own the dogs, Tschabold is concerned with how the town has handled the charges and court proceedings to date — noting the town’s lawyer was only informed of the case and the application to destroy the dogs late in the afternoon the day prior to the first court appearance Nov. 8.

Neither of the owners showed up and it appears the paperwork issued by the lawyer was incorrect. Trouble serving the owners has meant further delays, with the next court appearance set for March 14.

Tschabold realizes the bylaw is being reviewed, but feels it lacks the teeth necessary to act as a deterrent. He believes more stringent penalties, including fines up to $10,000, plus better organization and communication among all people and authorities involved in animal control, are necessary to keep the public safe.



jordie.dwyer@ponokanews.com

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