Calgary, AB,

Court declares dog ‘vicious’ under Responsible Pet Ownership bylaw

A Provincial court judge declared a dog vicious under the Responsible Pet Ownership bylaw at a court hearing January 10, 2014, ordering the dog to be humanely euthanized.  A separate trial will be heard in April 2014 in relation to the charges that were issued to the owner for a dog running at large, a dog causing human injury and a dog causing damage to another animal.

 “A dog can be declared vicious by the courts when the judge believes the dog will present a serious threat to harm other animals and or humans,” said Alvin Murray, North Operations Manager for Animal & Bylaw Services.

“This decision is never made lightly and takes into account factors such as the animal’s history of aggression, the circumstances around those aggressive incidents and risk to public safety.” 

The dog was involved in an attack on July 8, 2013 that resulted in injuries to both a person and an animal. The injuries to the animal required vet treatment resulting in a $2,500 vet bill.

The vicious dog ruling took into consideration a history of aggression. The dog owner had been served with a previous court order from April 12, 2011 whereby conditions required the owner to control the dog.

The owner of the animal has 30 days to file an appeal. The dog will remain in custody with Animal & Bylaw Services until the appeal window closes and the owner voluntarily signs the release or, if an appeal is filed, until the results of the appeal. 

Animal & Bylaw Services takes every incident of aggressive animal behaviour seriously and will lay charges for the court to determine when an aggressive dog incident occurs.  Public safety is a top priority for Animal & Bylaw Services.

“Pet owners need to be aware of the responsibilities they have towards their animals and the community under the Responsible Pet Ownership bylaw,” said Murray. “Owners can and will be held responsible for the behaviour of their animals and people must be aware of these responsibilities when looking to add a dog of any breed to their family.” 

Animal & Bylaw Services is committed to working with Calgarians to ensure that cats, dogs, their owners and neighbours live together in safety and harmony.

For more information on the Responsible Pet Ownership bylaw and Animal Services visit