A pit bull involved in a vicious attack of a woman and her dog in Garrison Crossing last summer will be destroyed.
Provincial court Judge Andrea Ormiston read her decision Wednesday in the civil case between the Fraser Valley Regional District (FVRD) and the dog’s owner, Kristopher Benson.
The incident leading to the application by the FVRD – which runs animal control services in Chilliwack – took place on Aug. 31 at around 4 p.m. near the entrance to the parking lot of Save-On-Foods in Garrison Crossing.
A woman – who asked not to be named because of Benson’s extensive criminal history – was walking her poodle cross named Ruxpin when Benson’s dog, described as an extra-large pit bull, attacked.
“It was just a horrific experience,” the woman said. “We walk that route all the time and we live in this community. It was a very traumatizing scenario.”
After the incident, Benson defended his dog, whose name is Magnum, on social media. He said the story was “blown way out of control” and that Ruxpin was just as at fault as Magnum in the incident.
After the violent attack, Benson fled with his dog and kept it hidden for nearly a month.
Eight days after the incident, the FVRD and RCMP executed a warrant to seize the dog, which was already designated an aggressive dog, but it was not at the residence searched. But because of its history that required microchipping, staff found the dog on Sept. 28 and it was seized.
The dog’s colour had even been altered.
Once the dog was seized, the FVRD began the process of applying to have it euthanized by submitting an application the court under Section 49, Subsection 10 of the Community Charter.
Because dogs are considered property, this can only be done with the owner’s consent or a Provincial Court order.
Benson fought the application, and Judge Ormiston read her decision in court on May 2 with Benson and an FVRD lawyer present.
Ormiston concluded the dog was a serious risk and measures could not be put in place to manage that risk, based at least in part on Benson’s own belief that his dog is “fine.”
“It is my conclusion [that Magnum] is a significant risk to the public that can’t be managed by his owner,” Ormiston decided.
After the decision, Benson was asked if he had any submissions on a timeline for when the dog would be euthanized.
“Am I allowed to see him once?” he asked.
The FVRD’s lawyer responded that was “not in Magnum’s interest” and the judge said that was not in her jurisdiction.