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Pitbull euthanized after killing poodle in Airdrie

By: Kristen Spruit

  |  Posted: Thursday, Aug 07, 2014 10:28 am

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Two Airdronians are without their pets after an altercation between two dogs over the long weekend that ended fatally.

On Aug. 2 around 8:50 p.m., a small poodle escaped from its backyard in the Channelside neighbourhood in the west of Airdrie and ran directly to a pitbull that was being walked by its owner on a leash in the area, according to Airdrie RCMP.

The 81-pound pitbull attacked and killed the poodle, and then escaped from its owner and ran off. Airdrie RCMP patrolled the community to find the dog, but it was eventually located by the owner and voluntarily surrendered to the Airdrie Municipal Enforcement.

RCMP Media Liaison Constable Jason Curtis said the names of the pet owners involved are not being released by the RCMP.

He added the pitbull was scheduled to be euthanized on Aug. 5, however, he said he could not provide further details.

Fines or charges were not being laid against either party in the incident.

“There is a possibility for tickets on both sides because there was also a dog at large, but both of these owners are without their pets now, so it’s not our intention to add salt to their wounds,” said Curtis.

He added he cautions owners to be aware of their pets while in their yard and out for a walk.

“Sometimes dogs get free. It’s the owner’s responsibility to be cognizant of their animals, and if an animal does get free and causes damage to property or bites another dog or person, the owners are liable for their pets actions,” said Curtis.

According to the City of Airdrie’s Dog Control Bylaw, the fee for a dog bite is up to $350.

However, if the incident goes to court, fees can increase up to a maximum of $10,000. The courts have the ability to order a dog to be euthanized in serious cases.

John Murray, head trainer at Dog “E” Daycare, provided general information to pet owners to keep them and their dogs safe.

He encourages owners to recognize their dog’s body language in order to be able to react to an unwanted event.

An arched, tense stance, ears pinned back, hackles going up on the back, a direct stare and an upright, tense tail are all signs the dog is in an uncomfortable situation.

Murray said a wagging tail is not always a sign of happiness and owners need to be aware of the different tail wags.

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) website describes the different tail wags:

• Tail is in natural position – dog is relaxed

• Tail is relaxed and wagging side to side – dog is happy

• Tail is at a relaxed height and stiffness but is vigorously wagging side to side or in a circle – dog is really happy

• Tail is lowered or tucked between his legs. Tail may still be wagging from side to side, often at a more rapid pace than when relaxed – dog is nervous or submissive

• Tail is tucked up between legs and close to belly – dog is very nervous or submissive

• Tail is held higher than usual – dog is alert

• Tail is high, stiff and moving rigidly back and forth (flagging his tail) – dog is threatened and not feeling friendly

“It’s prevention rather than a cure,” Murray said of understanding dog body language.

For more information on dog behaviour, contact Murray at Dog “E” Daycare at 587-775-1191.

To report an incident with a dog or a dog at large, contact the City at 403-948-8800.

With files from Allison Chorney


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