The Halifax Regional Municipality (HRM) wants a judge to rule that a dog that killed another dog in Dartmouth last year be euthanized.
“It’s something that we do reluctantly,” said Jim Janson, municipal prosecutor. “It’s a real public safety issue, that’s the real issue for HRM.”
On Dec. 14, 2015, Bruce, an American Staffordshire terrier, attacked and killed Diamond, a Pomeranian. Diamond was chased into her owner’s home by Bruce and dragged next door.
“She was like a family member like almost, basically, like my child,” said Rachelle Coward, Diamond’s owner, the day after the attack.
WATCH: Rachelle Coward was shocked and devastated after her dog, Diamond, was killed by another dog
Thomas Vaughan and Kassandra Allard-Morin, Bruce’s owners, were later charged with having an unlicensed dog, allowing a dog to run at large, and one charge of an animal attack.
“I want people to know that I am really sorry for what happened, and for all the pain that I caused to [Diamond’s owner] and her family,” said Allard-Morin last year.
Diamond, seen in this undated photo, was killed last year. Courtesy: Rachelle Coward
Diamond, seen in this undated photo, was killed last year.
Courtesy: Rachelle Coward
The couple appeared in provincial court in Dartmouth Thursday morning and pleaded not guilty. The matter was adjourned and the crown and defense agreed to meet at a later date.
“In the next couple of weeks we’re going to see what issues we can resolve, which ones we can’t, and hopefully come back to court with a game plan in terms of moving straight to sentencing,” said Geoff Franklin, the couple’s lawyer.
A hearing to set a trial date was scheduled for April 21 at 9:30 a.m. at the same court.
Since January 2014, the municipality has requested five dogs, including Bruce, be put down, according to spokesperson Brendan Elliott.
“But that isn’t done lightly. We take a lot into consideration, and key to everything is public safety and the safety of both the animals and people in the neighbourhood where that dog may be living,” he said.