Resident appeals her dog's 'dangerous' designation

TOWN OF MINTO – Harriston resident Rebecca Palmer maintains that even though her dog Kota allegedly bit another dog more than once, it is not dangerous.

The Town of Minto has determined that her dog Kota is dangerous. Palmer is appealing that designation to the township.

It is alleged that on multiple occasions, specifically during the afternoon on Aug. 29 and during the evening on Sept. 21, Kota wandered off the property and bit another dog. The alleged attacks left the other dog injured.

Part of the designation of dangerous dog “means a dog that, in the absence of any mitigating factor has significantly injured a domestic animal,” wrote Cam Forbes, property standards officer, in a letter to Palmer and presented to council.

Other factors that would lead a dog to be designated as dangerous include if it causes or shows intention to injure a person or is labelled as a dangerous dog but is kept by the owner against the rules for a dangerous dog.

If council upholds the dangerous dog designation, Palmer will have to follow several conditions, including:

- the dog would have to be kept at its owner’s dwelling or in a pen such that children cannot enter the enclosed area without adult supervision.

- if not in a pen, the dog must wear a muzzle.

- the owner would need liability insurance of at least $1 million in case the dog damages property or injures someone.

- the dog would also need a microchip which identifies it as a dog with a dangerous designation.

In a letter to the town, Palmer said she wants the opportunity to speak against the designation.

“I would like to speak on her behalf in hopes to show that she is not a dangerous dog and does not deserve the label of one," she wrote.

Palmer was unable to attend the appeal hearing before council on Tuesday due to illness. The appeal was rescheduled for Dec. 6.

Jesse Gault is the Local Journalism Initiative reporter for GuelphToday. LJI is a federally-funded program.

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