Fate of B.C. pit bull involved in vicious attack still uncertain

Animal control application to have aggressive dog euthanized may not be heard until 2018

The battle over the fate of a pit bull that attacked a woman and her dog in Chilliwack in the summer is likely to continue into the new year.

The dog’s owner Kristopher Benson and a lawyer for the Fraser Valley Regional District (FVRD) were in Chilliwack Provincial Court last week to discuss a date for the hearing to decide whether or not the dog should be euthanized.

It was Aug. 31 at around 4 p.m. near the entrance to the parking lot of Save-On-Foods in Garrison Crossing when a woman was walking her poodle cross named Rux, and Benson’s dog, Magnum, attacked.

• READ MORE: Violent pit bull attack leaves Chilliwack woman with tendon damage – Warning; graphic photos

“It was just a horrific experience,” said the woman who did not want to be named because of the pit bull owner’s criminal history.

Not only is Magnum well-known to FVRD animal control for other incidents, but Benson is well-known to police and the courts.

After the violent attack that left the woman with serious tendon damage and Rux with even more serious injuries, Benson fled with his dog.

FVRD animal control tried to track Magnum down, but Benson took the large pit bull to an unknown location and altered the dog’s colour.

Then on Sept. 28, a month after the attack, and with help from the RCMP, animal control staff tracked down Magnum. Despite the change in appearance, the dog was found because of its aggressive history that required it to be microchipped.

Once the dog was seized, the FVRD began the process of applying to have the aggressive dog 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.

In court on Dec. 5, Benson told the court he had a lawyer that he needed to get up to speed before the hearing could go forward.

Judge Richard Browning told Benson it was in his best interests to get to the hearing quickly since even if he wins, he’s on the hook for the the costs of boarding the dog all this time. Benson said he understood.

Browning adjourned the matter to Dec. 19, adding that the hearing would not happen on that day but it would hopefully be able to be scheduled by then.

Two months after the attack, the woman and her family had spent approximately $10,000 in veterinarian bills and Rux was fighting for his life. Rux was raised and trained as an emotional support and therapy dog who was supposed to start volunteering at the end of October.

“He provides support for our foster child who was shocked by the whole ordeal,” Rux’s owner said two months ago.

Back then the woman said she was suffering with a life-threatening infection from the pit bull’s saliva. She did not respond to an emailed request to comment on the case or her condition by Wednesday morning.

After the incident, the owner of the dog defended his dog on social media. He said the story was “blown way out of control” and that Rux was just as at fault as Magnum in the incident.

“He has tried to fabricate a story when there were multiple eye-witnesses to confirm the actual facts of the event,” the woman said. “There is no acknowledgment, no remorse, and the victim-blaming makes everything so painful.”

READ MORE: Pit bull owner defends his dog after woman with dog attacked in Chilliwack


@PeeJayAitch
paul.henderson@theprogress.com

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