Effort renewed to move Cain to Kitimat

Accused of biting child, impounded dog's court date is months away

ANOTHER ATTEMPT will be made to get approval to move a dog from the Thornhill animal shelter to the Kitimat Humane Society shelter.

Accused of biting a child in the spring, Cain, a German shepherd, has been locked up at the Kitimat-Stikine regional district’s Thornhill shelter ever since.

Authorities are seeking a court order to destroy Cain and a hearing is scheduled for December.

Advocates for Cain said he will receive a higher standard of care at the Kitimat shelter than he is receiving at the Thornhill shelter and will make the request when the regional district board meets this Friday.

A first request made at a regional district meeting last month failed.

Maryann Ouellet, manager of the Kitimat Humane Society, said she has now submitted a letter showing that the society can legally take liability for moving Cain to its shelter and housing him there until his Dec. 11 court date.

At that time a provincial court judge will determine, based on evidence from witnesses, whether the German shepherd should be put down.

“The [Thornhill] bylaw officer told the board they could not transfer that responsibility to the municipality or shelter for liability,” said Ouellet.

“I’ve provided them with court documented proof that it can be done. We’re just waiting to see if they will stick to their stance of not transferring the dog,” she added, referring to the Thornhill animal shelter.

She added that the humane society would take all the liability on itself and that the Thornhill animal shelter would save money by not having to pay to look after him anymore.

Cain was apprehended and placed into the Thornhill animal shelter after he bit a child and tore another child’s pants last April.

The Thornhill animal shelter asked for a destruction order for the dog.

Cain’s owner, Paul MacNeil, asked the regional district to let the dog be moved to the Kitimat Humane Society where he and his supporters believe the canine would have better care until its trial day in December.

Ouellet said she hadn’t heard anything from the regional district board since its last meeting Aug. 10.

In court, the judge will decide whether the dog poses a danger to the public and whether it can be rehabilitated, whether this was its first offence and other factors, said Ouellet.

And this comes after the judge hears from the dog owner and witnesses, just like a court case, she said.

The victim’s family isn’t against the dog being moved to Kitimat, she said.

Ken Isaak, whose three-year-old son was bitten by the dog, said his family is letting the regional district do what it does as the matter is within its jurisdiction.

Attempts to contact MacNeil late last week were unsuccessful.