Last month there were two cases of pitbull attacks in the city reported to the Mirror.
In both cases we were unable to get a hold of the owners of the pitbull-type dogs, so we reached out to other pitbull owners to get their side of the story.
In Campbell River and Area D (just south of the city limits) there are 1,940 licensed dogs and 26 of them are pitbull type dogs.
Adam Janveaux thinks that his dog Remi is probably one of the biggest in the city.
Remi is very dominant and powerful, and Janveaux always has him on a leash.
Remi hasn’t attacked any dogs but he is wary of them because he has been attacked.
Janveaux has been training Remi since he was a puppy. He thinks that all people who own powerful breeds should be required to do the same.
“If he was at zero to 100 and going after another dog I have a command, if he gets out of my house I have a command,” Janveaux said. “He drops, stops and comes back, and it is drilled.”
Janveaux has also taken Remi to the fire departments as well as the RCMP office and had the emergency responders pet Remi and give him treats while in their uniforms.
He said this desensitizes the dog to people in uniform so that he isn’t scared when he sees them the next time around.
Remi lives in a household with a 13-year-old as well as parrots, rabbits and pigs.
He is friends with all of them. Janveaux said he trusts Remi 100 per cent with his son and all of the other animals in the house. When he is out of the house he is more careful.
He said he will often cross the street with Remi so that he doesn’t come in contact with dogs that are off leash.
“The mistake we make is we treat our dogs like our kids,” Janveaux said. “A dog is a dog, an animal. All animals have an animal instinct and (you) cannot trust them 100 per cent.”
Some of it comes down to genetics. Janveaux said people need to do their research and, if possible, meet their puppies’ parents to better understand what their temperament might be.
He blames back yard breeders for much of the bad reputation that pitbull type dogs have.
Janveaux intends to get Remi certified as a therapy dog so that he can take him on visits to long term care and other such facilities.
Rikki Laverdune also owns a pitbull-type dog in Campbell River.
When she first bought Paisley, Laverdune didn’t know about the pitbulls’ bad reputation. She heard some negative comments afterwards but at that point she didn’t care.
“She has been the best dog I have ever had,” Laverdune said.
Paisley is good with kids, she picks up on other people’s energy and emotion really well and she is very loving and caring.
Laverdune said Paisley does get a little bit upset when men wear hats around her, but she merely growls and barks until they take it off.
“Every time anybody says anything bad about her it makes my blood boil,” Laverdune said.
She thinks that awareness and education would be good steps to preventing and decreasing dog attacks.
People should be aware of language that dogs are giving off, Laverdune said. They should also ask permission to come up to a dog as well as asking permission to allow their dogs to meet.
Bradley Piercy’s 15-month-old dog Ruckus is a pitbull lab cross.
“Ruckus is what I like to call a daddy’s boy, he is basically like a toddler, everywhere I go he needs to be right by my side,” Piercy said.
Since bringing him home, Piercy said Ruckus hasn’t shown any signs of aggression and only barked maybe five times in his life.
Though he hasn’t done any official training, Piercy has worked with him on basic commands and said Ruckus has picked everything up quickly.
“The one thing I made sure to spend a ton of time on was boundaries,” Piercy said. “Ruckus knows how far he is allowed to go in the yard unless he has supervision. Dogs and their owners will walk by and he will stay in one spot.”
Piercy said it saddens him that people want to ban pitbulls.
He believes that in most cases it is the owner and not the dog that causes the problem.
So far this year there have been nine dog attacks in Campbell River and Area D, six of which were by pitbull-type dogs.
In 2015 there were nine attacks all year, three of which were by pitbull-type dogs.
In 2014 there were six attacks, none of them by pitbulls and in 2013 there were also six attacks, one of which was by a pitbull-type dog.