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Vancouver woman must pay $1,110 after dog bolts from elevator and bites Shiba Inu

Tribunal member ruled that vet bills, prior propensity to violent behaviour established evidence

A Vancouver woman must pay $1,120 after B.C.’s Civil Resolution Tribunal ruled she was liable for her dog biting another.

At the heart of the issue are two dogs whose owners live in the same condo building.

Alan Rockett said he and his Shiba Inu, Joshua, were waiting for the second-floor elevator at around 6 p.m on Dec. 17, 2018. When the door opened, Rockett claimed Jenny Forst’s dog, Dudley, “came bolting out” and nipped Joshua twice in the stomach.

Rockett said the other dog was on an extendable leash that Forst did not control, and that he got out of his collar. Rockett also said he kicked the other dog and then took Joshua down the stairs.

Forst denied the attack, according to tribunal documents. Her version of events is that Rockett and his dog were blocking her from exiting the elevator and that her dog slipped out of his collar and ran away, but did not bite.

Rockett submitted receipts for two veterinary clinic visits, one for $398.69 and one for $546.77, from the day after the incident. He said his dog was still doing poorly the morning after, and later needed emergency surgery when his condition got worse.

Rockett reported the dog bite to the city’s animal service department, which ticketed Forst.

In her judgment, tribunal member Sarah Orr said she saw more evidence for Rockett’s order of events, and that his description of his dog’s injuries seemed accurate, based on the veterinary receipts he submitted.

Orr also noted Forst’s dog’s history of biting, citing documents from Rockett that show Forst was ticketed and fined $850 for incident in March 14, 2015 when her dog bit Rockett’s partner.

Forst attempted to discredit the 2015 ticket because Rockett and his partner worked for the city, but Orr said she did not find any proof of bias.

Rockett was able to prove that Forst’s dog’s had a “propensity to bite,” she ruled, and so Forst must pay him $1,120.40 for vet bills, pre-judgment interest and tribunal fees.

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@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

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