Lois and Ed Jarvis sent this picture regarding the letter they sent to the Mirror about the difficulty in walking small dogs in Campbell River without being molested or attacked by off leash large dogs. This is a pet body armour vest they purchased for their little dog, Tia. “We hope we can feel safer with the vest, pepper spray air horn and cane while walking our little dog. It is really unfortunate that so many people are fearful of walking their dogs in safety,” they said.

Off-leash dogs in Campbell River are a threat to community safety

We have noticed Council and the City of Campbell River are striving to make our wonderful city as safe as possible and have taken steps to do so particularly in the downtown area.

We have written to City Council a couple of times about the difficulty of walking small dogs in Campbell River without being molested, accosted or attacked by unleashed dogs. We have talked to several small dog owners and they all have had very unpleasant or frightening experiences with numerous incidents of dog attacks with seemingly no accountability for the owners.

On June 4, a man walking his two little dogs was attacked by five off-leash dogs in the lane between 3rd and 4th Ave. where we had just walked our little dog and until then was our usual route. We talked to the Animal Control Officer and he says all incidents should be reported to him at Coastal Animal Control – 250-895-1323. There is a leash law in Campbell River except for the Willow Point Dog park and Beaver Lodge Lands and people are to pick up after their dogs (which many don’t). People can be fined for having an unleashed dog and dogs designated as vicious must be leashed and muzzled.

We, and others, can no longer enjoy the trails or city streets as no one seems to obey leash laws and their large dogs are running loose. Some are friendly but jumping around a little dog can subject them to injuries and is scary for them. Many are not friendly and a real menace. We are tired of having to quickly grab our little dog up to avoid problems with large unleashed dogs. A daily walk with our little dog should be a very enjoyable experience but it is not. Most small dog owners are older or elderly and are vulnerable themselves while trying to protect their leashed dogs from being molested or attacked. At the very least large dogs should be muzzled if not leashed. That would reduce a lot of dog attacks.

Perhaps a safe place could be designated for small dogs only since the large dogs seem to have everywhere else to run around?

We would never wish to harm anyone’s pet but Canadian Tire does have a couple of aides: a small air horn and pepper spray as a last resort. No one should use bear spray as that would be very harmful to the dogs, but people shouldn’t have to worry about fending off aggressive dogs which happens far too frequently.

In Pitt Meadows people get fined for not having their dogs on leashes, so most people leash their dogs unless it is a designated off leash area. Their Bylaw officer issues tickets for a substantial fine when encountering people not using leashes. We are sure other towns and cities have strict enforcement too.

We hope something can be done about this ongoing problem so walks can be safe and enjoyable for everyone.

Lois and Ed Jarvis

Campbell River