Pitt Meadows councillor wants mastiff put down

No support from other members after attack on little dog

  • Oct. 27, 2015 11:00 a.m.

Pitt Meadows Coun. Tracy Miyashita wanted council to pursue a destruction order against the bull mastiff that killed a small family dog, but was disappointed at their refusal to even discuss it.

“I was surprised that nobody else, except Bill Dingwall, supported bringing the motion there for discussion,” said Miyashita.

“Especially after [Coun.] David Murray said, ‘Something will get done.’”

He made that remark at an Oct. 9 council meeting, when the chambers were packed by people supporting John and Yvonne McDonald, whose therapy dog Buttons, a shih tsu cross, was mauled to death by a mastiff on Sept. 28 on the patio at the Harris Road McDonald’s Restaurant.

The couple has since been pushing for tougher dog control bylaws, including putting down any dog that kills another or person.

At that packed meeting, Murray remarked that he had a similar dog to Buttons, and promised: “I’ll tell you one thing – we’re going to get something done.”

So Miyashita wanted to call him out for not supporting her motion to have the issue added to the council agenda at a meeting last week.

It came up because bylaw enforcement officer Lesley Elchuk reported on the situation. She clarified the dog had not been previously deemed dangerous. It had been in a dog fight in a public area, but neither dog was injured.

Elchuk asked the woman with the dog to have it muzzled in public, but had no authority to require her to.

“I just asked.”

The dog was muzzled on the day it killed Buttons, but the muzzle was removed from the tied-up dog because an acquaintance wanted to give it water.

Elchuk reported that the mastiff has been deemed dangerous now, and must undergo remedial training, be muzzled in public, and contained in a secure yard with appropriate signage.

However, Miyashita said she agreed with the position forwarded by the McDonald family, that if a dog kills, it should be destroyed.

“If there’s a death, it should be put down,” Miyashita said, adding council should seek a destruction order.

Because that was not on the agenda, the issue would need the unanimous support of council, which it did not receive.

Miyashita said she would put the issue on a future agenda, and served a notice of motion. However, she said after only receiving Coun. Bill Dingwall’s support on the last vote, she is not optimistic it will pass.

“We owe it to that family, and all the people who came that night, to discuss the issue,” said Miyashita.

 

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