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Owners of 3 dogs in Calgary fatal dog attack appear in court

Click to play video: 'Charges laid in fatal Calgary dog attack'
Charges laid in fatal Calgary dog attack
Charges have been laid after a fatal Calgary dog attack in June. If convicted, the owners could face thousands of dollars in fines and possibly even jail time. As Global’s Elissa Carpenter reports, the charges are under the city’s responsible pet ownership bylaw but a criminal investigation is still underway – Jul 20, 2022

The owners of three dogs that fatally attacked 86-year-old Betty Ann Williams last month responded to the City of Calgary’s Dangerous Dog Act application.

Brendan Miller, a lawyer for dog owners Denis Bagaric and Talyn Calkins, said one of the three dogs has been surrendered to the city and appeared on their behalf.

The other two dogs have not been surrendered and continue to be held pending the outcome of the Dangerous Dog Act application.

Miller said the surrender is essentially a transfer of ownership and the city can do anything it wants to the dog.

“(The euthanization) is the city’s prerogative. Once they own the dog, they can do what they like with it,” Miller said. “If they decide to euthanize the dog right away, that’s their prerogative … But the city wanted just the surrender at this time.”

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Read more: Calgary bylaw officers charge two dog owners in relation to fatal dog attack

Williams died after being attacked by the dogs in the Calgary community of Capitol Hill on June 5. Police said it’s believed she was gardening in a back alley when the dogs escaped from a neighbouring property and attacked her.

Police said neighbours attempted to intervene in the attack, including the owner of the dogs who was able to remove the animals from the scene prior to the arrival of first responders.

Read more: Calgary files Dangerous Dogs Act application after fatal dog attack

Community peace officers seized the three dogs involved in the attack shortly after. The city then filed a Dangerous Dog Act application to the Court of Queen’s Bench to have the three dogs humanely euthanized.

Chief Bylaw Officer Ryan Pleckaitis previously said the owners denied numerous requests by the city to surrender the dogs, which resulted in the Dangerous Dog Act application.

“We have been in regular communication with the lawyers for the dog owners and there has been some level of cooperation,” Pleckaitis said at a news conference last Wednesday.

Read more: AHS reviewing EMS response time for fatal dog attack in northwest Calgary

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Bagaric and Calkins were also jointly issued 12 bylaw charges. They are required to appear in the Provincial Court of Alberta and can face a maximum penalty of $10,000 for each offence if convicted.

They may also face up to six months of imprisonment. A hearing for the bylaw charges is scheduled for Sept. 14.

Read more: ‘I should still have my auntie’: Family of fatal dog attack victim speaks out

“There are a lot of moving parts to this, and this is just one of two proceedings and there are potentially others,” Miller said.

“As I understand it, based on the news, the family of the deceased is considering filing a civil claim as well … It has a lot of moving parts.”

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