A dog owner has been charged under the Wildlife Act after their unleashed dog allegedly chased, mutilated and injured a fawn mule deer in the Kuiper’s Peak Mountain Park area in Kelowna on Nov. 7, leading conservation officers to euthanize the injured deer.
Kelowna conservation officer Ken Owens said that the owner was charged for causing or allowing their dog to pursue wildlife.
“Cases of dogs chasing, injuring, and killing deer or harassing wildlife are being reported in many areas of British Columbia this fall,” said Owens.
“Pet owners are responsible for the actions of their animals. Conservation Officers can destroy a dog found to be chasing deer or harassing wildlife, and owners can be fined up to $100,000 and imprisonment for one year or both under the Wildlife Act.”
He noted that snow in the mountains is driving deer to search for food in valley regions, and that deer and other wildlife are weaker than a well-fed household pet in the winter.
“A five-minute chase can cause a deer to die from shock or exhaustion. Deer may also be frightened into swimming beyond their capability or running over cliffs or into fences,” said Owens.
He offered the following tips for dog owners to help protect wildlife and their pets:
- Keep your dog on a leash, securely tied, or fenced when you are not at home. Dog-control legislation is enforced throughout the province, and fines are imposed for infractions.
- If your dog happens to get off its leash, ensure you can stop it from chasing any type of wildlife with verbal commands.
- Report wildlife harassment to Report All Poachers Polluters 1-877-952-7277 (WILD)