The District of West Vancouver has taken a softer tone on a homeless man’s pit bull that the municipality has argued should be destroyed.
According to the North Shore News, Francesca Marzari, a lawyer for the district, has suggested the parties involved could arrive at an amicable resolution.
“The district would prefer to resolve the matter with a solution everyone consents to—if one can be found,” Marzari said, paraphrased by the newspaper.
The article adds that the bylaw officers who initiated court proceedings against the dog were not aware that its owner was homeless until they read a May 3 article about the dog published by the Georgia Straight.
The dog’s owner is Jairo Augusto Gonzalez, a resident of the Downtown Eastside presently sleeping in a shelter.
Interviewed on May 3, he told the Straight the dog, named Kora, should be released because he has found a new home for the animal with friends in Squamish.
“I am in the street and I can’t have her here,” Gonzalez said. “But it could be safe; it could have freedom.”
In a notice of hearing, the District of West Vancouver claims that Kora has showed “unprovoked aggression”.
“The Animal Control Officer believes that Kora is likely to kill or seriously injure a person as a result of her unprovoked aggression to neighbours and strangers,” the document reads.
Court filings detail four incidents where the dog allegedly exhibited aggression. They do not claim the animal has ever hurt anybody. Nevertheless, it states the District of West Vancouver believes the animal be put down.
At the time of those incidents, Kora was staying with a woman who resides in West Vancouver’s British Properties.
An initial hearing was held in a North Vancouver provincial court on May 3.
The North Shore News reported that court proceedings will likely not resume until July pending a complete assessment of Kora’s behavior.
Today the dog remains in the custody of the B.C. SPCA.
Meanwhile, its fate has attracted the interest of a former Vancouver park commissioner who works with a neighbourhood nonprofit called the Downtown Eastside Street Market Society.
Sarah Blyth previously told the Straight there is an alternative to killing the animal, one that she argued should satisfy the District of West Vancouver.
“He’s got a place now where he can take the dog,” she said in reference to Gonzalez’s plan to leave it with a friend in Squamish. “This is a mistake.”