|Originally posted by Fluffy'sMom
I live inMaple Ridge,BC Canada.
We have a vicious dog living in our apartment block. He has snapped at countless children knoocked people down. The owner refuses to put a muzzle on him and uses vulugar language when asked about this dog.'
Being the mother of a 4 year old child i am concerned that she will be attacked,
I called the SPCA (along with many other calls),the SPCA just paid a visit and the owner lied about it all.
What can we do? Do we have to wait until this dog attacks?
1st. Make sure the owner is "legally" aware. Send a letter two ways, certified (sign for it) and regular post. I am reasonably sure that the Canadian post has a presumption of delivery similar to the US in that a letter sent to an address is expected to make it there. In this letter detail the animals vicious behavior, including a description of the dog and the dates/times/actions observed. You must be polite and factual. No bad language, no threats other than to pursue the appropriate legal action. This makes the owner unable to claim that they didn't know about the dogs tendencies in case it does seriously injure someone resulting in legal action. Copy the SPCA and the local law enforcement/animal control agency with the letter. By the way, you cannot SLANDER a dog. Make sure you do not say evil things about the owner though!
Next, check with your local tax assessor or real estate registry to determine if the dog owner owns or rents their residence. If they own it and have a mortgage, they should have mortgage insurance and a bank lender. With a little work, you can usually find out who both are. Send them a copy of the letter. Homeowner's insurance agents hate bad dogs and will drop customers that have them unless they provide proof that the dog is moved on to another existence. If they rent, find out who the owner is and send them a copy of the letter.
---> Please understand, this is meant to SOLVE the problem permanently and finally. Don't start this unless you intend to follow through and are able to deal with the consequence that the animal may be euthanized. <---
Carry a disposable camera with you when you are out and expect to encounter the dog. Never hurts. Everytime the dog acts aggressively, report it to everyone. Police, SPCA, etc. Make sure you are well spoken, have the facts, dates and times correct. If you can get a picture of the dog, make your own "Beware of the Dog" signs with his picture featured prominently on the poster. "Warning, the dog pictured here has acted in an aggressive manner towards children. Stay away from this dog!" Posting the address and name of the owner should not violate any of your privacy laws - nothing is considered confidential with animals.
Keep a record (start a notebook) of the proceedings and log each event, dates letters are sent, times of phonecalls, and pretty much anything else that goes with the dog. If this ends up as a court issue, your case will be well documented and that much more likely to be a winner.
Why all the letters? While I am not the litigious type, some events deserve just and fair compensation. Dog bites traditionally are hard to win if the owner can reasonably claim that they were unaware of the dog's demeanor. With the "Cujo isn't cuddly campaign" above, not only will that be impossible to claim but the person may get rid of the dog to avoid the hassle. Basically, this is a public relations ad campaign designed to get rid of the problem. Your local media may even get involved if the signs and stuff make it to their attention.