Dog attacks have become a topic of discussion in Moose Jaw recently, with more and more residents coming forward to share their frustration with both attacks and off-leash animals.
Ross Peterson is the most recent Moose Javian to share his frustration, as his dog Cooper, who is a German Shepard was recently attacked by an off-leash dog.
The attack took place on June 22, just after 7:30 p.m. He was sitting on his porch enjoying his coffee, with Cooper on a six-foot-long tether in the front yard.
“The kids came down, they petted Cooper, and then the kids crossed the street and were playing, while Cooper was watching them," says Peterson. "Then within 10 seconds, another dog comes running down the street and attacks my dog. This has been reported to the police in the past three months.”
Peterson notes that the fight only lasted approximately 10 to 15 seconds, but it was enough to injure Cooper.
As a result of the attack, Cooper was rushed to the veterinary and suffered a cut to his eye, and his back leg was pulled. Cooper is recovering and is on antibiotics.
He adds that if the attack took place a minute earlier, the children visiting Cooper could have been injured as well.
Peterson lives in the 1000 block of Clifton Avenue and says that this is a reoccurring theme, not only in his neighbourhood but around Moose Jaw.
“What I’m finding right now is I barely open my back garage without a dog running at me. There’s a lot of dogs that walk up and down the street with about 90 per cent on leash and 10 per cent off-leash," adds Peterson.
The issue he is facing in his neighbourhood is directly behind his home, where he says there is a residence that he reports to have seven dogs within it.
“They come out every night and they come down onto my property, behind my garage, and through the alley and they’re all off-leash.”
He has approached the owner of the dogs three times, but nothing has changed.
“When he brings his dog down off the leash, they’re all barking and it’s very noisy. This has happened from 9:00 p.m. to 2:00 a.m.”
A week prior to Cooper being attacked, Peterson says that his neighbour was attacked by an off-leash dog.
Peterson did want to advise residents of the risks of dog attacks, following his own experience.
“Don’t get involved if another dog approaches or attacks. If they can’t pull their dog away, they’re better off releasing it because they can get hurt really badly. I was more worried about the children in the city, more than anything.”
Peterson has gone to the police three times in the last three months to express his frustration with not only dog attacks but the amount of dogs off-leash.
“I talked to one officer, and he said there is very little we can do. Then an officer came up and she explained to me what was going on within Moose Jaw and the repercussions that can happen but they’re very little. The people have no respect for the police, they’re just doing it.”
There is a Dog By-law within the City of Moose Jaw.
The document refers to By-laws around the licensing of dogs, the impounding of dogs, the duties of dog owners, and general information.
If a dog is found to be “running at large”, which is off its leash, away from the owner's premises, it could be impounded and found guilty.
The only area where a dog can be off their leash, besides within their owner's property is the Hamilton Flats Off-leash dog park (1100 Manitoba St. W).
The length of a dog's leash could also lead to a fine. The city says that when a dog is off their owner's premises that the leash should not be greater than two metres (6 ½ feet), the animal will be deemed as running at large.
In addition, any owner of any dog that was found chasing a pedestrian, vehicle, horse, or any other animal on a public thoroughfare could be subject to a penalty.
The fines laid out by the city for a dog that is running at large is between $40 and $60. When it comes to leashes longer than two metres that fine could cost the owner between $40 and $60.
“What I find is the penalty isn’t strong enough for a dog off-leash and the people are not respectful to the police or the public.”
If you come across a dog off its leash or roaming around the streets, you are asked to contact the Moose Jaw Humane Society at 306-692-1517.
Below is the video of Cooper’s attack provided by Peterson: