A man holds on to his dog that viciously attacked a woman in Garrison Crossing in Chilliwack on Aug. 31, 2017. The man then took off, hid the dog and altered its colour. A judge decided May 2, 2018 the dog should be destroyed. (Submitted)

Pit bull involved in vicious attack in Fraser Valley to be destroyed

Judge decides dog involved in numerous aggressive incidents ‘a significant risk to the public’

A pit bull involved in a vicious attack of a woman and her dog in Chilliwack 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.

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

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.

Magnum bit Ruxpin leading to emergency surgeries and 15 staples to close his chest and leg. As the pit bull latched on, Ruxpin’s owner tried to pry open Magnum’s mouth. Witnesses tried to help, one smashing a bottle over the dog’s head, a construction worker hitting him with rebar, but it was only when someone sprayed bear mace in the dog’s face that it let go.

The woman had serious tendon damage from the bite, which a doctor said contained bacteria consistent with dog saliva. Benson, however, claimed the woman’s injury was not from Magnum but was from the glass bottle.

(See below story for more photos. Warning: They may be disturbing to some viewers.)

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.

• READ MORE: Chilliwack owner of pit bull involved in violent attack altered dog’s colour

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 was tasked with making two decisions, first deeming the dog a dangerous dog, and then deciding if it should be destroyed.

“I can and do make the finding that Magnum is a dangerous dog because he has seriously injured a domestic animal in a public place,” she said.

The judge also pointed to numerous other violent attacks on other dogs by Magnum including one at Benson’s own house on another pit bull just a month after last summer’s attack.

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.”

Already deemed an aggressive dog, Magnum was supposed to wear a muzzle and be on a leash in public. He was not wearing a muzzle when the attack too place.

“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.


@PeeJayAitch
paul.henderson@theprogress.com

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Submitted Photo Injured poodle Ruxpin after being attacked by a pit bull in Garrison Crossing Aug. 31, 2017.

Blood is visible in the mouth of a dog that attacked a woman and her dog in Garrison Crossing in Chilliwack on Aug. 31, 2017.

Injured poodle Ruxpin after being attacked by a pit bull in Garrison Crossing Aug. 31, 2017. (Submitted)

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