'I had no option:' Officer who shot dog during attack speaks out
Published Wednesday, March 6, 2019 6:27PM EST
Last Updated Wednesday, March 6, 2019 6:41PM EST
An Ottawa Police officer says she had no choice but to shoot a dog after it viciously attacked her last Friday.
“I felt hot breath and he was just ferociously barking in my face. I knew, oh he’s trying to kill me,” said Const. Amanda Munro.
Munro was assisting with an eviction at a building in Vanier that had gone well until the dog lunged at her outside, she said.
“I pushed back the door put my left forearm up to try and push him back and get some distance and he bit on my forearm…I tried to pull my arm back and he bit even harder. It almost felt like he was sort of cemented in there like he was locked,” Munro recounted.
“And then and then he started shaking his head so at that point I knew it's over, he's trying to kill me and if this dog gets me to the ground there's no way I’m going to make it out.”
Munro said she couldn’t access her taser, adding there’s no guarantee it would have worked. She used her firearm and the dog died of its injuries.
Munro, an animal lover herself, understands that people are upset with the outcome.
“I can’t have the risk to the general public. If he’s trying to kill me, he’s going to hurt someone else as well, I had no option.”
The City of Ottawa has a bylaw that governs all dogs in the city but it does not enforce the provincial pit bull ban.
"The provincial Dog Owners’ Liability Act (DOLA) regulates certain dog breeds identified in the legislation, commonly referred to as 'pit bulls'. As with all other legislation and regulations, enforcement personnel and agencies have enforcement discretion. Such enforcement discretion takes into account factors including but not limited to proof of breed, evidence, history, and extenuating circumstances of each case. Like other municipalities, the City of Ottawa exercises its enforcement discretion in respect of the DOLA," ssaid Roger Chapman, Director, By-Law & Regulatory Services in a written statement.
“We need to have a fulsome understanding of what the city's approach [is], how can we be proactive in this, to not have to react to challenging situations,” said councillor Mathieu Fleury.
“That it be a pit bull or that it's not a pit bull, you still have a dog that was dangerous that went and bit an officer pretty severely and that's the issue and it's been creating havoc in our community for many months, why weren't the tools in place to resolve it initially?”
The dog’s owner has been charged under the Animal Care & Control By-law with:
- Failure to ensure a dog does not bite or attack a person without provocation
- Failure to control a dog by holding a leash in hand
- Failure to register a dog
She’s due in court on May 16.