A "pit bull-type" dog has been declared dangerous for biting and seriously injuring kennel workers in Port Coquitlam, and will likely be destroyed in the coming days.
"Kujo," who was picked up by PoCo animal control officers multiple times, including near Castle Park Elementary where he dragged a woman, has been impounded in kennels for more than a year.
In a Jan. 27 decision, a provincial court judge agreed Kujo is a dangerous dog after hearing testimony and looking at photos and videos from victims.
Dog likely to "kill or injure"
According to the judge, a dangerous dog declaration can be made when, on the balance of probabilities, the court believes the dog is likely to "kill or injure" in future.
Kujo belongs to Sharon Bennett, who is unhoused, who was not at the Jan. 5 hearing but whose lawyer represented her instead.
Through her lawyer, Bennett said Kujo only bites people when he is in a kennel.
However, Bennett acknowledged that she couldn't restrain Kujo because "she is homeless."
A friend, Todd Leduc, who is also unhoused and living in a different camp from Bennett, sometimes looked after Kujo and had a muzzle that could be used to control the dog.
However, the judge agreed that Kujo was too much of a safety risk, especially given that the dog's primary owner couldn't control him because of her living situation.
Dog caught running at large
The animal bylaw officer stated that the dog had been caught running at large multiple times.
On one occasion, in August 2021, a woman used a spare leash to restrain Kujo when he was running near Castle Park Elementary.
However, the dog was startled by a passing man and ran, dragging the woman along a gravel road.
A month later, Kujo was impounded after another situation where a man was allegedly bitten.
Bennett was informed via letter that her dog would be declared dangerous.
But it was two incidents at a kennel that raised the most concern.
Dog bit arm for 'several seconds'
In the first, a woman entered Kujo's kennel to take him for a walk, when he lunged at her, biting the thumb of her left hand.
He then bit her arm for "several seconds" and when she tried to push him away he lunged at her, tearing her shirt.
Kujo also bit her foot and bruised her skin before the worker was able to escape from the kennel and go to Eagle Ridge Hospital, where she received stitches.
The worker told the judge the incident left her anxious around dogs, even dogs that she knew.
In a second incident, one year later, a kennel attendant was petting Kujo in the shelter courtyard when he turned his head and she "no longer felt safe."
Kujo then bit her hand, leaving three puncture wounds, which required a trip to hospital and a course of antibiotics.
"Given the evidence before me, I am satisfied on the balance of probabilities that Kujo is likely to kill or injure in future," wrote the judge.
"This is especially the case because Kujo is frequently found at large requiring him to be seized and impounded. In light of this finding, I have no choice but to make an order for the destruction of Kujo."
According to the court order, Kujo will be euthanized by a "qualified veterinarian" 31 days after the date of the judgment, in case of an appeal.