It’s been eight months since Bettina Weide was attacked by a dog and she still has the scars on her leg, scars that act as a reminder.
“The dog came just running at us and attacked myself and bit me, not once, but twice,” Weide said.
“I ended up five times in emergency room and I saw my doctor seven or eight times. I almost died because of the infection on my leg.”
The City of Toronto is trying to help stop attacks from happening and amendments have been made to its bylaws that will help better identify dogs with a history of aggression.
Dogs that are deemed dangerous will now wear coloured tags on their collar and owners will have to post signs on their property in order to warn people.
The changes are part of amendments made to Municipal Code Chapter 349 and it now includes a new definition of what is considered to be a “dangerous dog.”
“For the first time ever we have a definition of a dangerous dog,” said Coun. Glenn De Baeremaeker.
“A dangerous dog is a dog that bites a person or another animal or stalks in an aggressive manner.”
According to the City of Toronto, dogs that have severely bitten a person or domestic animal, or injured or threatened a human, are now considered to be dangerous dogs.
Once dogs are deemed dangerous, the dog must wear a muzzle and leash and it’s prohibited from using designated leash-free areas at City parks.
“If you have a dangerous dog, we will make sure that you put a sign on your lawn,” De Baeremaeker said.
“You will have a City of Toronto sign that says this is a dangerous dog on your front and backyard so that if someone is walking their children and they see your dog on your front lawn.”
Weide said the changes are a step in the right direction and she said she hopes it will prevent serious attacks, like the one she experienced.
“People come close to dogs and they want to play with dogs,” she said.
“We assume they are friendly, but we do not know what’s behind a dog.”