A woman says a couple threatened to spray her dog with bear spray for being off-leash in an on-leash area. The people’s faces have been blacked out as there have not been any charges laid. (Facebook photo)

Police respond to alleged bear-spray threats in Vancouver Island park

A number of Comox dog owners have reported their off-leash dogs being threatened with bear spray

Another Comox resident has spoken out about an older couple who threatened to bear spray her off-leash dog.

In November, Liz Lyle-Mattson’s dog Buddy was sprayed with bear spray while on a walk in the Northeast Woods, and other dog owners have since described being threatened with bear spray for having their dogs off-leash. Following one of the more recent altercations, RCMP say they have identified the couple who have allegedly threatened a dog owner.

READ MORE: Comox woman shocked after dog allegedly sprayed with bear spray

On Sunday, Brenda Cardinal was playing fetch with her four and a half year old dog Kayla in Highland Park when she was approached by an older man and woman.

She said the man told her her dog should be on a leash and she replied that he should mind his own business. Cardinal then noticed a can of what appeared to be bear spray in the woman’s hand. Cardinal says the confrontation escalated very quickly and she and the couple began yelling at each other.

“It aggravated my anxiety and I just went into fight or flight mode and it just got really ugly really fast. It was a verbal confrontation,” she said.

Cardinal says she has PTSD due to her years in the military and says it was triggering to be yelled at and approached so aggressively.

“You don’t approach people like that,” said Cardinal. “He came across as very condescending, and it was like he was trying to intimidate you.”

Cardinal continued to throw the ball for Kayla throughout the confrontation to keep her away from the couple. She adds she also took photos of the couple and later posted them to social media to warn others.

Cardinal says she eventually walked away from the situation, and the couple then approached another dog owner on the field.

“I’ve been taking Kayla for three and a half years through there just about daily and I would say 95 per cent of the dogs are off-leash,” said Cardinal, adding that she always communicates with the other dog owners she encounters and has never had a problem.

Cardinal reported the incident to the police and says the altercation highlights the need for an off-leash dog park in the Town.

Monika Terragni, media relations with the Comox Valley RCMP, confirmed that a police report had been filed and says the couple has been identified. She said the RCMP will be following up with the couple and are still gathering information.

A request for comment has been sent to the Town of Comox.

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