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Animal regulations with some teeth

Whistler residents divided over calls to ban specific dog breeds



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And, said McLellan, her pet is not the same canine. Bo flinches at sudden noises and stays away form other dogs.

McLellan feels differently about some dogs too and that is why she wants to add her voice to those raised across the country recently in support of some kind of control over dog breeds associated with violent attacks on pets and people.

"I think these dogs should definitely be controlled more," she said. "They should always be on leashes, maybe muzzled, and monitored more closely.

"I do think it is necessary. I think something should be done in Whistler."

She is not alone in her concerns.

"We felt like we were prisoners in our own home," said Alta Lake Road resident Bob Penner after two Perro de Presa Canarios dogs moved into his neighbourhood this summer.

"No longer could my wife, with any peace of mind or comfort, walk down the road or go outside our house."

Like pit bulls these dogs have a genetic predisposition to hold onto something once they bite it. They bite at about 1,500 pounds per square inch of jaw. Two dogs of this breed were responsible for the death of a California woman outside her apartment.

"These dogs made me angry but they made a lot of our neighbours frightened," said Penner who repeatedly called bylaw about the dogs because he saw them out without being leashed.

Indeed Penner said he found his whole experience with the bylaw department frustrating as he was told there was nothing they could do until the Presa Canarios attacked a pet or a person.

He was forced to start fencing a large part of his garden so that his 35-lb. collie Sasha could go outside without Penner worrying about the Presa Canarios going for his nine-year-old pet.

The dogs have since left the neighbourhood but Penner is still vowing to petition the municipality to formulate a stronger bylaw against dangerous dogs.

"I am not done with this," he said.

He wants to see a stronger licensing process where owners of dogs identified as aggressive breeds are clearly informed that they are responsible financially and otherwise for the actions of their dogs. He also wants licensing to address how people look after two or more of these dogs living together.

"If those dog owners allow them to run free the dogs should be taken away immediately," said Penner who describes two Presario dogs running together as a "time-bomb ticking away. They are a pack."

"The bylaws are not sufficient. The growth of this problem is not flat lining, it is growing. The number of dog owners is increasing."