A dog was pepper sprayed as it was being taken for a walk along Sidney’s waterfront walkway Monday, March 13.
The owners of the dog, who dropped into the office of the PNR following the incident and after reporting it to the police, said a man sprayed their Golden Retriever without any warning. After washing their pet’s face, the dog seemed to be all right, they said, noting they had felt the effects of the pepper spray as well.
The couple said the man who sprayed their dog just walked away. They are concerned about what happened.
Corporal Douglas Wilson of the Sidney North Saanich RCMP says police do get concerned over such incidents, however, he said people can legally purchase and carry pepper spray for protection against animals (for example, bear spray).
“Whether it can be lawfully deployed for protection is based entirely on the circumstances of the situation,” Wilson said. “If a person legitimately fears being attacked by an aggressive animal, deployment of the spray for protection could be justified.”
The owners of the dog said their pet is very friendly and they think the only reason it was sprayed was out of fear by the other person.
“If a person was simply angry that a dog was off leash,” Wilson continued, “then that is a concern.”
He noted as well that dog owners have a responsibility to ensure their dog is under control at all times and on a leash where one is required.
RCMP are investigating the incident and would like to speak to the older man who was involved. Any witnesses are asked to contact the Sidney North Saanich RCMP.