The owners of a pit bull in Riverview, N.B., are calling on the town to change the way it enforces its animal control bylaws after their pit bull named ‘Chester’ was seized by the town’s animal control officer last Friday.
According to a statement posted on the Town of Riverview’s website, the two-year-old pit bull owned by Troy Comfort was seized by an animal control officer after the town says the owners failed to adhere to bylaw rules following an attack on another dog and a minor in September.
“This action followed an incident that occurred in September wherein the dog attacked a minor and another dog; both victims sustained injuries that required hospitalization and/or treatment.” stated Riverview’s Chief Administrative officer Colin Smith.
But the dog’s co-owner, Comfort, said it was a “minor incident,” adding that Chester was quarantined for 10 days following the incident and since then he has been trying to comply with the town’s demands to keep the dog muzzled and on a leash.
Comfort also claims the rules issued by the animal control officer keep changing.
“That still wasn’t good enough, so she then proceeded to tell me that a certified dog trainer had to approve,” he said.
He says the animal control officer now requires him to build a proper kennel to house his pet and he has 30 days to comply, something that isn’t stated in the town’s bylaw.
A Facebook page called “Let Chester Go” was launched online Friday, with some on the page calling the animal control officer a bully and calling for her to be fired by the town.
“She keeps moving the goal post on everything,” said Comfort’s father-in-law, Mark Lafferty, who believes the fact that Chester is a pit bull is a reason for the additional demands made by the animal control officer.
“This individual has wide wide wide scoping authority to do just about anything they want and I think possibly,” said Lafferty who added, “those bylaws need to be reviewed and maybe tightened up a bit.”
But Smith stated online that “the dog’s breed was not considered a factor in any actions undertaken, as the Town of Riverview does not enforce or support breed-specific legislation.”
The post said that “if the owner of an aggressive dog is non-compliant with the provisions of the by-law, the Town of Riverview may seize and impound the dog until such provisions are met.”
He added that Chester was returned once the owners complied.
However, the town won’t comment on the specifics of the case citing privacy reasons.
But it is reporting alleged death threats made against their animal control officer in online posts to the RCMP.
“We urge community members to be mindful that there are more sides to a story than what is often provided on social media.”