Dangerous Kelowna dog ordered to be euthanized
KELOWNA – “Loki will have to be euthanized. There is no other option.” That was a judge’s ruling Wednesday after a three day trial as she ordered the destruction of a dangerous dog.
Loki, a 16-month-old male pitbull, had a long history of running loose and being aggressive when it attacked one of its owners inside their Kelowna home in November.
Jennifer Heitzmann was bitten multiple times on her arms and legs and spent two days in hospital before discharging herself against doctor advice.
The judge called the dog mauling savage and persistent. “The wounds are deep, bloody, and gruesome. In the attack Loki broke a bone in Ms. Heitzmann’s hand,” said Provincial Court judge Jane Cartwright.
Heitzmann, and her partner Rick Bellar, say she was injured when Loki came to Bellar’s defence as he was being attacked by two men and Heitzmann was trying to pull the dog back.
The judge rejected that explanation, saying the evidence shows the dog attack happened as the couple were having a loud argument.
“Ms. Heitzmann’s wounds were not consistent with the version that her injuries were caused by holding onto Loki. Those actions might result in one, accidental, bite. But Loki bit her, with a great deal of force, over and over, on all her extremities,” said Cartwright.
An expert in the behaviour of aggressive dogs testified rehabilitating Loki would require thousands of dollars in home modifications and extensive training.
“It would be irresponsible in the extreme to release Loki to anyone, much less the respondents, as they have proven that they are unable to control Loki,” declared the judge.
She banned Bellar and Heitzmann from owning or residing with any dog that has been declared aggressive or dangerous by an animal control officer for three years.
The pitbull will be put down after 30 days if its owners don’t appeal the destruction order. Bellar says he intends to do that.
The court case cost the Regional District of Central Okanagan about $7500.