B.C.-wide registry of dangerous dogs urged

Municipal leaders say it's too easy for owners of dangerous dogs to skip town and evade tracking and restrictions

Dangerous dogs should be recorded in a registry that applies across B.C.

Dangerous dogs identified by one municipality should be tracked when their owners move to another city.

That’s the request from the Union of B.C. Municipalities after delegates passed a motion from Pitt Meadows asking the B.C. government to set up a province-wide dangerous dog registry that all animal control agencies and police would be required to use.

They’d be required to record in the registry every dog that kills or severely injures a person or a domestic animal.

Pitt Meadows Coun. Janis Elkerton said it’s too easy for an owner to skip town to a new community with their vicious dog and escape tough restrictions that might otherwise apply.

In two recent incidents of vicious dog attacks in her community, she said, the dog and owner relocated to another municipality, with no notification to authorities there.

She said that makes it harder to prevent future attacks involving known dangerous dogs.

Public pressure in Pitt Meadows grew last year after Shih Tzu cross ‘Buttons’ was killed by a bull mastiff – spawning a “Justice for Buttons” campaign – and tiny Pomeranian ‘Lilly’ was killed by a pit bull.

The pit bull that killed Lilly was subsequently moved to another community where the dangerous dog designation slapped on it by Pitt Meadows meant nothing.

The B.C. SPCA has also supported a provincial dangerous dog registry to insure dangerous or vicious designations on dogs made in one community can bolster enforcement elsewhere.

Different cities have different regulations governing dangerous dogs.

Surrey requires designated dangerous dogs there to be muzzled, on leash and competently under control when off property, and in a fully enclosed pen when not in the home, with stiff fines for violators.

UBCM also passed a resolution calling on the province to make owners liable for injuries or damage their pets cause.

Buttons, a Shih Tsu cross, was killed in Pitt Meadows by a bull mastiff, in September 2015