in a small claims court here in Nova Scotia - a judge dismissed the claims of a grieving yorkie owner who watched her dog be torn up by a german shepherd in the hallway outside her apartment because the yorkie dared to bark at the german shepherd before the shepherd bit down and caused the injuries that killed the smaller dog.
It didn't matter that the yorkie was 5 pounds - and the german shepherd was - I don't know how many pounds a german shepherd weighs - but it was WAY more than 5 pounds. It doesn't matter that when HRM's Animal Control department became involved they have deemed this german shepherd a dangerous dog and he now has to be muzzled in public for the rest of his life. It doesn't matter that the other resident's of this apartment building are terrified of this dog.
All that mattered to this judge is that this - 5 pound yorkie - barked at the german shepherd - so I guess that the german shepherd was allowed to have this ONE BITE - and the small claims case against his owner was dismissed.
I don't know why the Animal Control designation didn't come out more at the Small Claims hearing - or if the judge just didn't seem to take that really into consideration - the fact that Bella is now a dangerous dog - the news articles all state that at the time of the attack that Bella wasn't considered dangerous - "There was no evidence at the hearing that the defendants knew or ought to have known that Bella was vicious, or that their dog had or might have any propensity to attack a person or another dog, let alone Twigg."
But the facts remain that both dogs were on leash, and that both owners - including Bella the german shepherds owner - should have had control of their dogs - and that means that even if both dogs were barking - neither dog should have attacked the other - leashes exist so that dogs don't need to have contact with each other - and if one dog dies and the other one doesn't - the dog who doesn't die must be held accountable.
Animal Control realized this - why a Judge wouldn't realize this is really - quite unbelievable.
This is just one more example of how the Justice system in Nova Scotia is failing the animals of Nova Scotia.
I talked about this last week - for this to come out as well - how much is this happening and we have no idea that it is happening?
When will the Justice System in Nova Scotia come into the 21st century?
Bella's owners need to be held accountable for the actions of their dog.
Luckily for Twigg's owners - the Van Norden's have moved out of the apartment building that they were living in - so the Nickerson's don't have to continue to face them everyday - but they are now living somewhere else in the Halifax Regional Municipality.
I hope that they are muzzling Bella whenever they are outside of the apartment or house that they are living in. I hope that they are complying with the conditions that Animal Control has set upon them, and not dealing with the situation as cavalarly as the Justice System has dealt with them.
Here is the article that was in the Chronicle Herald: