The owner of a Belgian Sheppard shot dead at Blackwater Lake on Feb. 3 claims the Conservation Officer (CO) who killed his dog didn't need to use deadly force on his pet.
Alexey Osmolin has shared his story with reporters as far away as the United Kingdom after his five-year-old dog, Rada, was killed north of Pemberton while Osmolin and a friend were ice fishing. Osmolin claims the CO surprised Rada then shot the 18kg dog as the dog barked at him.
"I did not see him approaching," said Osmolin. "He sneak up from bush. It's not like he come and took his truck on the road and I see, oh, there's a guy coming, you know. My dog was sitting beside me and she looked in the bushes because she knew something was there."
Osmolin noted there is wildlife around the lake so nothing seemed unusual about his dog barking at something in the bush.
"She just run away, she just took off... then she started barking," said Osmolin. "Then I just turned around and the guy just shoots it. Like, boom."
The Burnaby resident said he felt the CO should have shouted out to demand the dog owner call the dog off, but Osmolin said that didn't happen and instead the CO put at least three and possibly four shots into the dog. He said the echo of the shots around the mountains made it difficult to tell how many times Rada was shot, but he claims it was at least three.
Inspector Chris Doyle with the COS said the number of times the dog was shot and other specifics of the incident are under investigation.
"We will do a thorough and professional investigation," Doyle said on Monday, Feb. 11. The investigation is expected to last until the first week of March. Both Doyle and Staff Sergeant Steve LeClair of the Whistler RCMP said the name of the CO involved is not being publicly released.
The owner of the dog said he couldn't understand why the CO didn't use his baton or pepper spray on the dog. Osmolin described the dog as well trained and, he said, Rada had never hurt anyone previously. He also feels the CO showed no remorse after Rada was shot.
Osmolin said he filed a complaint with the Conservation Officer Service but so far the agency has not contacted him. Doyle said Osmolin may be interviewed by the COS as part of the investigation, but he noted that Osmolin has already given a statement. He spoke with a member of the RCMP on the day of the incident.
Osmolin was disappointed to learn that the incident is being investigated by the COS. "I would like the investigation to be done by the police," he said.