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dead dog

Owner searches for answers to dog shooting Four shots shattered the still morning air Sunday behind the Whistler Mountain administration office in Whistler Creek. When the smoke cleared an alleged "aggressive" dog lay dead and a Pemberton family was minus one four-legged family member. And then came the questions, most of which remain unanswered. Doug Lamont was surveying trails on Whistler Mountain Saturday with his dog Mihka when she wandered off into the bush. After work, Lamont could not find the dog and reported it missing to the bylaw department at 7 p.m. The dog, a five-year-old Malamute-shepherd cross, turned up early Sunday morning in the Whistler Mountain parking lot. A bylaw officer was called to the scene, but could not capture the dog. He in turn called the RCMP and local veterinarian Dr. David Lane for assistance. Lane, two municipal bylaw officers and RCMP Cst. Rich Rawlings could not capture the dog and it became agitated and ran away. Lane then left to attend to his business. After numerous attempts to examine, capture and muzzle the dog failed, Cst. Rawlings shot the dog four times. Lane says when he left, the option of shooting the dog was not even discussed. "No mention of shooting the dog had been made while I was there," Lane says. "Shortly after I left I was paged to come examine a dog that had been shot." An eyewitness says Rawlings and the bylaw officers "chased the dog" from beside the Petro-Can to the spot behind the office where it was shot. "I heard the pistol shot and stood up," the eyewitness says. "He shot the dog a few more times and that was all I saw. There were absolutely no people in the area at the time." Cst. Rawlings could not be reached as he has been off duty since the incident. According to Cpl. Darryl Little of the Whistler RCMP detachment, the dog was put down because Rawlings determined the dog was a "danger to nearby people." Rawlings did not have a tranquilizer gun in his squad car when he attended the "viscous dog" call. "Only in extreme circumstances are we going to put down a dog," Little says. "Cst. Rawlings deemed this an extreme situation." Lamont says the dog was very gentle and something must have been wrong with her. "I don't want to make this into a big issue, I just want to find out why this happened and to make sure it doesn't happen to anyone else's dog, because it's a terrible thing to go through," Lamont says. He adds if Mihka was killed because of an error in communication, someone should apologize. "If I screw up at work, I admit it, make amends and carry on," Lamont says. "That's what should happen here." The investigation is continuing.

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