The Town of Rocky Mountain House is seeking to have three pit bulls declared dangerous dogs following two attacks within minutes of each other.
The three dogs were running at large on April 27 when they attacked and seriously injured two other dogs that were on leashes and being walked separately along a path.
The town, in a statement released on Friday, said a preliminary investigation resulted in a number of summons being issued to the owner under its Dog and Cat Bylaw. The owner may face fines ranging from $100 to $10,000 per dog.
Dangerous dog applications are also being filed with respect to each of the three dogs.
Under the provincial act, where a dog has bitten or attempted to bite a person, a justice can order the dog to be destroyed.
Also, if a dog “is dangerous and not kept under proper control and if it appears to the justice that the dog is dangerous, the justice may make an order in a summary way directing the dog to be kept by the owner in a proper way or to be destroyed.”
“Two of the subject dogs remain impounded for public safety reasons and the third is currently residing with the owner. We are working with the owner to make sure this does not happen again,” the town said.
The incident began when three loose pit bulls attacked a 27-year-old woman’s dog as she was walking along the Loop, in the area of West Central High School and 61st Avenue. Several Good Samaritans helped the woman fend off the attack on her dog.
Then two of the pit bulls carried on down the path and attacked a dog being walked by an 86-year-old woman who tried to fend off the attacking dogs by kicking at them and hitting them with a branch. Again, people arrived and came to her assistance. After the attack, the visually impaired senior was taken to hospital to be treated for soft-tissue injuries.
“The town would like to acknowledge all the individuals who assisted in coming to the aid of those involved in the attacks. This was done at great risk to their own safety and potentially prevented further incidents from occurring. The public has been invaluable in the investigation by their willingness to come forward. We want the residents of Rocky Mountain House to be aware that public safety and responsible pet ownership are paramount as we move forward,” the town said.
The owners of the two dogs that were attacked had hundreds of dollars in veterinarian bills as a result of the attacks.
Shortly after the attacks, two of the pit bulls were apprehended by enforcement officers.
The town is not releasing the name of the owner of the three pit bulls, nor when the owner is scheduled to appear in court.
Jason Springham, senior peace officer for the town, said on Friday that legal documents for the dangerous dog applications were being drawn up by the town.
The status of the three dogs and where they are will not change unless they get a change in their designation, Springham said.
The investigation into the attacks was done primarily by the town’s municipal enforcement, with assistance of the RCMP.