WINNIPEG — A black lab named Coco that killed a Shih Tzu and went after a two-year-old after jumping over a fence will be labelled a dangerous dog for the rest of its life.
The designation means its owner Kelly Qiang will have to ensure Coco stays inside her yard, is muzzled while out in public and will have to carry a $1 million insurance policy in case it hurts anyone.
Qiang appealed the decision by the city’s Animal Services Agency at City Hall on Friday but was unsuccessful.
“He’s not a dangerous dog, compared with other dogs he’s definitely not a dangerous dog. It’s just unlucky what has happened,” she said.
Coco ran from Qiang’s Lindenwoods home in August and attacked and killed a five-year-old Shih-Tzu named Snoops who was walking with her owner.
A woman who tried to break up the dog fight was bitten on the hand and taken to hospital in an ambulance.
Earlier in the summer Coco jumped over the back fence and went after a toddler who was playing in an adjacent yard.
The two-year-old wasn’t hurt but Coco also chased that family’s smaller dog into their home.
During the appeal hearing, city councillor Russ Wyatt who sits on the committee raised concerns that dangerous dogs shouldn’t be allowed to remain in neighbourhoods while appeals are ongoing.
“From August to now that dog has been in that neighbourhood, that’s not acceptable, that is absolutely not acceptable,” said Wyatt.
“If somebody is bitten by a dog that it requires them to make a trip to hospital in an ambulance frankly I think the story is over. The dog should not be in the community period, no ifs ands or buts about that,” he said.
However that’s at odds with the Animal Services views situations like Coco’s, “I don’t agree with that because there’s always multiple scenarios and circumstances that go into causing a dog to bite – on a dog being put down automatically for biting someone,” said CEO Leland Gordon.
“We put significant restrictions on the owner of a dog that’s done something tragic to essentially make the community safer,” he said while explaining what a dangerous dog designation means.
– Sean Leslie, Global News Winnipeg