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Huntsville Council denies dog muzzle removal request
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Huntsville Council denies dog muzzle removal request

Posted: 2024-05-30 09:14:46 By: thebay

Huntsville Council denied the request for dog’s muzzle to be removed, in the May 27, 2024, meeting.

On Friday October 21, 2022, a resident of Grandview Hilltop Drive was walking her 10-year-old Spaniel and 12-year-old Bichon Frise on leashes when attacked by a 1-year-old Husky/Golden Retriever dog.

The Husky was originally on a leash, however, knocked over it’s owner who dropped the leash, and the dog went after the other two dogs, lunging at one and biting the other causing several puncture wounds.

The owner of the two dogs that were attacked also fell to the ground while trying to deal with the situation, which resulted in injuries to her shoulder, elbow, hip, and knees.

The Husky owner said that the dog was usually friendly, and included a petition signed by 40 people that knew it to have the muzzle order reversed.

She referred to the situation as “an isolated incident.” And apparently a doctor at a veterinary clinic said the dog “was a lovely and very well-behaved dog.”

She wanted Council to reverse the initial muzzle order issued by the By-law Office, Corey Crewson, because the muzzle apparently makes people scared and is humiliating for the dog.

She continued, “I think the order is extremely onerous, unjust and unfair.”

Deputy Mayor, Dan Armour, inquired about whether the Husky dog had any professional dog training, and suggested the dog be evaluated by a professional to help determine whether it is deemed aggressive, as a way to help Council make an informed decision.

The dog owner said, “I don’t think a personal trainer would know Nova any better than these people who signed my petition,” however, she agreed if that’s what would be required by Council.

Council members concurred with Armour about the potential of having a professional dog trainer assess the dog prior to deciding.

The victim indicated that this is the second incident where the Husky dog has bitten. She said it also bit another neighbour’s dog prior to this incident, and inquired about why the owner hasn’t already been charged under the Dog Owner’s Liability Act (DOLA).

She added that the owner did not have control of the Husky dog that attacked her and her dogs.

She also indicated that she previously worked in animal services and that Huskies have a “high prey drive,” especially for small animals or things that move.

She continued that she currently has a $210 veterinary bill that hasn’t been paid by the Husky owner, and said she is now fearful for herself and her dogs in public because the other owner isn’t being compliant with the muzzle order.

Council debated between having compassion for the Husky having to live with a muzzle while out in public and keeping the muzzle order, however, their decision was impacted by feedback from the By-law Officer, Corey Crewson.

Crewson advised that upon speaking with the Risk Assessment Coordinator he was informed that they were in favour of maintaining the muzzle order.

He added that the Town had a similar situation in the past with a different dog and they lifted the muzzle order and the dog ended up biting again, and the owner filed a lawsuit against the Town for lifting it.

Councillor, Scott Morrision, expressed concern for the Husky living in a condo. He said, “Living in a condo is going to be challenging for the dog.”

Despite his compassion for the dog and that he would like to take it home to give it a backyard to play in, he said wouldn’t sleep well knowing something could happen if the muzzle were removed.

Councillor, Bob Stone, said, “No one should be nervous walking down the streets of Huntsville.”