Pit bull owner won’t be charged in dog attack on woman in Surrey

Police says there's no law requiring someone to remain at the scene of a dog bite.

Police say the woman (pictured) was walking in the area next to the convenience store when she was attacked unprovoked

Police say the woman (pictured) was walking in the area next to the convenience store when she was attacked unprovoked

SURREY — A pit bull owner who police say left the scene with his dog after it attacked a 65-year-old woman in Whalley, ripping her arm open, was located by authorities a few days later but is not facing charges.

The victim’s arm was mangled and she required hospitalization and surgery after the dog attacked her outside the Mac’s convenience store at 92nd Avenue and Scott Road on Monday, June 20. The Surrey RCMP and City of Surrey’s Animal Control Office received multiple tips from the public in the days that followed and found the dog’s owner.

“The owner has voluntarily surrendered the dog to Surrey Animal Control to have it put down,” said Jas Rehal, Manager of the City of Surrey’s Bylaws, Enforcement and Licensing department.

Surrey RCMP Sergeant Alanna Dunlop said the police investigation is still open.

“Officers have looked at the totality of the circumstances in this file and have deemed that there is insufficient evidence to proceed with criminal charges at this time,” she said.

In B.C. it is illegal to not remain at the scene of a traffic collision. But, Corporal Scotty Schumann noted, there is no law requiring someone to remain at the scene of a dog bite.

“He definitely left the scene with the animal,” Schumann said. “There’s no law that says you have to help somebody. Morally? We know the answer to that one.”

Quebec has a law that requires citizens to help someone whose life is in peril. Denmark, France, Germany, Russia and Serbia have similar laws.

In the common law of most English-speaking nations, however, citizens are not bound by any general duty to try to rescue someone else.

tom.zytaruk@thenownewspaper.com