Pit Bull fears raised at open house

Fears about Pit Bulls breeding were raised at a recent public hearing

Fears that a proposed boarding kennel could turn into a “pit bull” breeding facility were raised at a public hearing in the District of Port Hardy Council chambers June 23.

Dylan and Kristy Shaw, who own and operate Island’s Edge Contracting Ltd., have purchased property in the industrial park on Bronze Road (on the way to Storey’s Beach) where they are planning to house their contracting business, a caretaker’s dwelling, and in the future, a dog kennel operation.

District of Port Hardy administration recommended that instead of changing its existing zoning bylaws, that the property in question be considered for a new zoning category – Comprehensive Development 6, which would permit all of the existing uses of the Light Industrial zone as well as the additional use of animal kennel. This zoning would allow the property owners to keep, breed and train animals.

The Shaws are hobby breeders of American Bully dogs.

The American Bully is a recognized breed that is a combination of American Pit Bull Terriers mixed with several other breeds, including the American Bulldog, English Bulldog, and Olde English Bulldogge.

According to the United Kennel Club website, “the American Bully is a companion breed exhibiting confidence, a zest for life, along with an exuberant willingness to please and bond with their family, thus making the American Bully an excellent family companion.”

Despite the American Bully’s fierce and powerful appearance their demeanour is gentle. They are great with kids, and extremely friendly with strangers, other dogs, and other animals.

Human or dog aggression, extreme shyness, or viciousness is very uncharacteristic of the American Bully.”

While those in attendance supported a boarding kennel, some do not support the Shaws breeding what they feel are aggressive dogs on the North Island and feel that the change in the bylaw would clear the path for this to happen.

“My girlfriend totally freaked” when she learned there were going to be American Bully dogs on the property, said adjacent owner Dan Carter.

“She is now afraid to go there because of the possibility of Pit Bulls next door. I am totally against this. No way,” Carter said.

“Initially we gave our blessing because they told us they were going to be operating a boarding kennel,” said Dan Clare.

“Recently we found out they were going to be breeding Bullies,” Clare said, withdrawing his support for the rezoning.

“Please don’t allow this bylaw to go through,” he said.

“We’ve been made aware that there are some concerns,” said Kristy Shaw, one of the owners of the proposed facility, adding that their goal is to provide a service to residents of the North Island.

“We do not breed Pit Bulls. We have never had one complaint in the seven years we have had our dogs,” Shaw said, adding the animals are licensed and registered show dogs and people have “unwarranted concerns about our family pets.”

Breeding them is a passion, not a financial operation, she said, stating that they breed two litters a year.

“We are not planning the construction of a dog breeding kennel,” she said, and their policy is “not to distribute our litters” on the North Island.

“I’m not a fan of Pit Bulls, however, Pit Bulls aren’t illegal in town. Until that day, I think it’s a moot point,” said Lawrence O’Connor, adding he is sure there are guidelines the couple will have to follow.

“I’m not a neighbour out there, but it is an industrial area, what better place to have a dog kennel? I fully support him,” O’Connor said.

“I am concerned about where the dogs end up,” said Michelle Smith-Andrews, adding she is also concerned about the lack of animal control in the area.

“My concern is that we don’t have the authorities up here if we have a problem. We are relying on help from the RCMP,” Smith-Andrews said, adding she was very lucky that her dog Molly is still alive after she was attacked by a Pit Bull.

“There was nothing we could do to get the dog off our dog,” she said.

Smith-Andrews said Pit Bulls and Bullies “are not aggressive per se,” however, their “prey drive is high. It’s a powerful dog.”

Once the bylaw is changed “minds can change. You could have 50 Pit Bulls or Bullies. At $5,000 a dog it’s pretty tempting,” said Clare.

Some wondered if it was possible to have parameters in place that would limit the number of breeding dogs that are allowed.

Mayor Hank Bood thanked the residents for their participation. Later in the evening council agreed to postpone giving third and final reading to the bylaw until they have a chance to review the comments made at the meeting as well as the written submissions that were received.

 

Just Posted

New look and feel on the horizon for Gate House Theatre in Port McNeill

“We are hoping between now and then to do another fundraising campaign for acoustics”

North Island Bantam Eagles capture Tier Three banner with win over Powell River Kings

The Eagles next game is Jan. 19 against the Juan De Fuca Grizzlies at 4:00 p.m. in Port McNeill.

Mainroad meets with Regional District of Mount Waddington

“It was really nice to have Mainroad there to give a presentation to the RD”

Port Hardy council agrees to list question and answer period on agenda packages

CAO Allison McCarrick confirmed the question and answer period will be listed on the next agenda.

UK lawmakers reject Brexit deal in 432-202 vote

House of Commons votes against the deal struck between Britain’s government and the EU

Millennial Money: Don’t let Instagram envy get you into debt

A full 48 per cent of U.S. households have credit card debt

Jury debates fate of man accused of killing 12-year-old B.C. girl 40 years ago

Police allege Garry Handlen told a cop how he abducted, sexually assaulted and strangled Monica Jack in May 1978

Investigating change to B.C.’s licence and quota system

MP Ken Hardie hears from fish harvesters how corporations are favoured under current regime

Letters on way to all homeowners in B.C. speculation tax communities

Property owners have to register to avoid vacant-home tax

New orca calf in Salish Sea ‘healthy and active’

Birth cause for celebration but things still dire genetically, expert says

UPDATE: One person confirmed dead in Port Alberni motor vehicle accident

Rural residential road remains closed as RCMP, coroner investigate

Good Samaritan rescues cat found in heaps of garbage at B.C. landfill

The cat was abandoned and left to die at the Foothills Boulevard Regional Landfill, the BC SPCA says

Most Read