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Number of dog attacks in Edmonton rise 18% year-over-year

Dog attacks are on the rise in Edmonton, according to city statistics.

In a media release Friday, the City of Edmonton said it received 596 dog attack complaints between January and July, an increase of 18 per cent compared to last year, when it collected 507 such complaints. In 2021, the city fielded 359 of them.

“Dog owners have a responsibility to ensure that their animal is well-cared for, well-socialized and does not present a risk to public safety,” said John Wilson, director of the city’s Animal Care and Control Centre.

The city, in its release, noted a case in which a provincial court judge fined a dog owner the maximum $10,000 because of multiple attacks for which his animal was responsible.

Charges against the owner had been laid under the city’s animal licensing and control bylaw, which is being renewed and for which the city is staging a virtual public event on Nov. 2, after repeated complaints and attacks, said the release.

“The fine in this case reinforces the owner’s responsibilities to ensure their animal’s safe and healthy integration in the community,” Wilson said.

There can be multiple reasons for attacks, according to the city, including a lack of understanding of how to read behavioural signs and how to safely approach and engage with dogs. 

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