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Dog scheduled to be destroyed after killing poodle given another chance by B.C. judge

Bronx was a dog who sat on death row in Victoria for seven months but has now been saved. Ken Griffiths Facebook

A dog in Victoria who has been scheduled to be destroyed for seven months now has now been given another chance at life.

Bronx, a five-year-old Rotweiller mix, killed a small poodle with a single bite in August 2018.

Following that incident and another in which he bit two people, the City of Victoria labelled Bronx a dangerous dog and filed an application to have him destroyed.

That triggered a court case where advocates argued Bronx should not be put down and could be released.

Ken Griffiths, a dog behavourist who owns Comox Valley Dog Whisperer, became Bronx’s owner during the case after claiming he could rehabilitate the dog.

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“There were two questions in front of the judge,” Griffiths told Global News Wednesday. “The first was whether or not Bronx was a dangerous dog and the second was whether or not Bronx was at serious risk to injure or kill a human in the future.”

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Judge Adrian Brooks did rule that Bronx is a dangerous dog because he killed another dog, Griffiths said.

“The second point, the judge decided that Bronx doesn’t pose a serious risk to seriously injure or kill a human because we have video of the incidents and they weren’t vicious attacks.”

Bronx has now been released into Griffiths’ care.

He said he will teach Bronx to socialize, play properly and be respectful to other animals and people.

“It was just an amazing feeling when I went in there to get him,” Griffiths said. “I said, ‘You’re going home, buddy.'”

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As a “dangerous dog” in Victoria, Griffiths had to take him out of the city limits to take him for a walk and allow him to paddle in the river.

The City of Victoria confirmed Bronx will be subject to certain restrictions if he is in the city under the Animal Responsibility Bylaw, Part 5.
The city said Bronx being able to live in the Cowichan Valley, away from urban settings, was a factor in the court’s decision.

Griffiths now has 36 dogs at home, and Bronx will get a chance to socialize with all of them eventually.

He said there are some cases where dogs cannot be rehabilitated and must be put down, but the way dogs act is often directly related to their owner’s behaviour.

“You have to be a balanced, alpha human, to earn the trust and respect for an alpha dog,” he added. “That’s only five per cent of people.”

But for Griffiths, many of the dogs that have been put down over the years did not need to be.

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“It’s about being their mother,” Griffiths said. “There’s a deep psychological reason for that. We don’t train our children, we teach them.

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“The three main lessons we teach our children are to socialize properly, to play properly and to be respectful. Dogs teach their children the same lessons.”

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