Candice Lander sits with her six-year-old dog Harvey, who she’s owned for a year and a half. It’s her only dog left after her other dog, Cesar, was seized and euthanized amidst controversy. (Trevor Beggs)

B.C. homeless woman says city wrongly euthanized her dog

City of Surrey bylaw manager says dog was ‘very violent to people at the Strip’

SURREY — A homeless woman is heartbroken after she says the City of Surrey wrongly euthanized her dog.

“His blood is on their hands, and it’s never, ever, ever going to wash off,” 22-year-old Candice Lander said. “Somebody needs to pay for what they’ve done to him.”

But the city says the dog was “very aggressive” and bylaw officers had responded to a number of attacks.

It all started on July 16th. According to Freedom of Information request documents obtained by homeless advocate Erin Schulte, bylaw officers were called down to the Strip after Lander’s three-year-old pit bull terrier, Cesar, was involved in a “dog attack.” The dog was seized.

Chaos ensued, which was highlighted by a video that made its way online recently. Many of the people in the video are shown yelling at police after they put Lander in handcuffs and took her away.

No charges were laid and Lander was later released.

See also: Surrey Mayor Linda Hepner says city reviewing dog bylaw after recent attacks

Lander said she called the Surrey Animal Resource Centre the next day to pick her dog up. After the centre told her the fees were $160, Lander said she got ready to go pick up her dog later that day. Lander then says she got a phone call a half hour later from the centre, saying that they couldn’t release Cesar, and that she would have to get the dog back by contacting the bylaw department.

On Aug. 1st, she went down to the shelter to visit Cesar for the first time since he had been seized – it was his third birthday. Lander said when she got to the shelter, she learned that Cesar had been euthanized.

She says she had not been notified about the dog’s death.

“I was on the ground for 40 minutes crying, asking, ‘Why did you do this to my boy?’” Lander said, her emotions getting the best of her.

“I couldn’t save him and I couldn’t protect him. It’s a horrible feeling.”

Lander claims Cesar was not violent.

“He didn’t bite anybody,” she said. “He was scared s***less, he had his tail tucked between his legs when he was being taken away. He was so scared. he probably sat there scared for the last week and a half, wondering why his mom hadn’t come to pick him up.”

See also: Surrey sinks its teeth into comprehensive new dog bylaw

The City of Surrey says Cesar was previously designated a “dangerous dog.”

Bylaw Manager Jas Rehal told the Now-Leader that Lander was notified that the dog would be put down if he wasn’t muzzled and put in a six-sided enclosure.

“After an incident in which [the dog] went to attack an individual, this dog had other incidents in which it tried to attack people,” said Rehal.

He said the city provided a leash and muzzle, which Rehal claims was not used.

“There were a number of attacks and the dog was very aggressive… The dog was very violent to people at the Strip.”

Documentation regarding a specific attack by Cesar has not been made public at this time. One email in the FOI’s obtained by Schulte shows that a bylaw officer witnessed and reported an “attempted bite.”

Schulte, who has spent the last four years working in the area with the Pop Up Soup Kitchen, says Cesar’s presence was never an issue on the strip.

“If Cesar was a dangerous dog, he wouldn’t have been here on the street. The homeless here wouldn’t have tolerated it,” Schulte said.

“If he was this dangerous, horrible dog, people would have been cheering [for him to be taken away]. If you watch the video, they were screaming at the cops in anger.”

See also: Several dog fines climb

www.facebook.com

Just Posted

High school graduation rates on the rise in Greater Victoria

High school completion up from 71 to 86.8 per cent over 10 years

Pacific Centre Family Services Association a winning design in Colwood

Victoria Real Estate Board winner a welcoming sight

Victoria curling foursome looks to defend provincial title

2019 BC Junior Curling Championships held in Vernon from Dec. 27, 2018 to Jan. 1, 2019

Top tourism executives in B.C. earn almost $1 million

Destination B.C. CEO Marsha Walden received total compensation of $296,487 in 2017-18

New figures show City of Victoria spent $30,000 to remove Macdonald statue

Contentious decision sparked controversy, apology from mayor

Unique technology gives children with special needs more independent play

UVic’s CanAssist refined seven prototypes aided by $1.5M government contribution

Greater Victoria holiday craft fair roundup for Nov. 16 to 18

Check off all of the items on your shopping list at these great events

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Nov. 14

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Children between 6 and 9 eligible for $1,200 RESP grant from province

BC Ministry of Education is reminding residents to apply before the deadline

Privacy concerns over credit card use for legal online pot purchases

Worries follow privacy breaches at some Canadian cannabis retailers

NEB approves operating pressure increase to repaired Enbridge pipeline

The pipeline burst outside of Prince George on Oct. 9, now operating at 85 per cent

B.C. VIEWS: Setting speed limits in a post-fact political environment

Media prefer ‘speed kills’ narrative, even when it fails to appear

Controversy erupts over Japanese flag in B.C. classroom

Online petition demanding removal has collected more than 5,700 signatures

Death toll rises to 76 in California fire with winds ahead

Nearly 1,300 people remain unaccounted for more than a week after the fire began

Most Read