AMHERST, N.S. â Amherstâs animal control officer has decided against euthanizing four dogs that killed another dog two weeks ago and were aggressive toward police officers.
Under the townâs companion animal by-law, the animal control officer has the power and authority to make the determination that any dog or dogs are a dangerous animal.
When the animal control officer has reason to believe that a dog has attacked a person or another animal, the officer can classify a dog as dangerous, issue an order for the owner to muzzle the dog, or order the dog to be securely restrained indoors or in an escape-proof enclosure.
Should the officer determine in their discretion that the dangerous dog poses an immediate and significant threat to the public safety, they may, after consultation with a police manager, destroy a dangerous dog.
In this instance, the animal control officer did not deem these animals as dangerous. The dogs were voluntarily surrendered to her by the animal owners.
The officer will train the dogs and adopt them to homes outside of the local area. The officer determined that the incident was a result of the dogs exhibiting âpack mentalityâ and as a result, the dogs will be separated with the recommendation that they not be adopted together.
The officer has agreed to monitor the status of the animals. If they continue to exhibit aggressive tendencies after a period of training, they will be destroyed. Any prospective adopters will be made aware of the history of the animals. The adopters will also be required to provide further training with the dogs.
Under the bylaw, the Lillian Allbon Animal Shelter does not have any role in the decision-making process with respect to the ultimate fate of the dogs, but is simply housing the animals.
On Nov. 12 at approximately 12:30 p.m., police received a call that several dogs were attacking a small dog on Park Street. An officer attended the scene and four dogs approached him aggressively.
The officer deployed his OC pepper spray at a large bull mastiff and a second bull mastiff/boxer breed. The dogs turned away from the officer but continued to be aggressive as other officers arrived on scene.
The dogs were eventually corralled into a make-shift fenced yard however officers had to stay in the area for several hours to make sure the dogs did not escape. The dogs continued to be extremely aggressive for hours after the initial attack. A small dog was found by officers with severe wounds and unfortunately the dog had died at the scene.
It is reported that the small dog was on a leash in the backyard of its ownerâs yard when it was attacked.
The owner of the four dogs was contacted and it was discovered that the dogs had escaped from the home.
Four dogs were seized by the animal control officer.
The investigation into this matter continues with respect to reviewing possible charges against the owners under the companion animal bylaw.
If anyone has any information on this incident, they are asked to contact the Amherst Police Department at 902-667-7227.