Pit bull put down after biting Saanich cop

Dog destroyed, as it had previously attacked a person

  • Sep. 15, 2011 6:00 a.m.

A dog that attacked a Saanich police officer last weekend was destroyed Wednesday afternoon.

The dog’s owner gave up the animal to Saanich pound officers in the afternoon, and consented to it being put down, Sgt. Dean Jantzen said, confirming the four-year-old pit bull was destroyed.

In April of this year the same dog attacked a woman in View Royal resulting in “serious, extensive” injuries. That incident was investigated by CRD Animal Control.

The animal had been moved by the owner to a location in Victoria, in the 800-block of Rock Bay Ave., where officers from Saanich and Victoria picked it up.

Dogs have a two-strike policy if they’re involved in an attack, Saanich pound inspector Susan Ryan told the News in an interview for a story about an unrelated dog attack in 2009.

“If we find out it’s attacked before, if it’s been aggressive, then we would probably seize the dog and seek a destruction order through the courts,” Ryan said at the time.

On Saturday, a 40-year-old Saanich police officer was bit multiple times in the hand, upper arm and shoulder while on a call. He suffered a sprained thumb, deep bruising and numerous puncture wounds that required 10 stitches after the dog attacked him. He is expected to be off work for several weeks.

“It’s obviously a sad incident. This is an animal that is somebody’s pet. (Destroying a dog) is not something we take lightly or do often, but there were obviously serious concerns about tis particular animal, which is why we pursued the investigation,” Jantzen said.

Pit bulls and Rottweilers have an undeserved reputation for being deemed “dangerous dogs.” But the fact is “larger dogs are going to be doing more damage if they bite,” pound officer Derek Rees told the News last year.

The criteria required for an animal to get the “dangerous dog” branding includes killing or seriously injuring a person or domestic animal — something that smaller dogs are less capable of doing.

kslavin@saanichnews.com