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

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

$500 fine for Vernon man caught near Coldstream playground

Richard Slobodian, 58, served one night in jail and ordered to pay for breaching probation

House arrest for Vernon physiotherapist guilty of sexual assault

Stephen Witvoet to serve 18-month conditional sentencing following July 8 hearing

Kelowna woman fights off nighttime intruder

Kelowna RCMP are investigating a break-and-enter on Richter Street

Morning Start: Naps could save your life

Your morning start for Wednesday, July 9, 2020

Building to begin on Okanagan Rail Trail washroom

Project starts Monday, July 13, in Coldstream between Westkal Road and Kickwillie Loop

B.C. identifies 20 new COVID-19 cases, travellers specified in count

Pandemic total 3,028 cases, 51 people from outside Canada

LETTER: Former Summerland mayors speak out on solar project

Five former Summerland mayors sign name to short letter

Emergency crews conduct CPR on unresponsive person in Okanagan Lake

West Kelowna emergency crews are on scene at the shores of Jubilee Mobile Home Park

Filing deadline in RCMP sexual-harassment class-action extended due to COVID-19

Plaintiffs now have until January 2021 to submit claims for up to $222,000

Jamie Bacon pleads guilty to charge in Surrey Six case

The plea brings an end to a complex legal case that has spanned more than a decade

Summerland Museum reopens

Museum to open on July 15 with reduced operating hours

Hefty undeclared driver charges piling up, ICBC warns customers

Average extra penalty $2,971 after an at-fault accident

Kootnekoff: B.C. Supreme Court rules clause in Uber’s contract is invalid

Susan Kootnekoff is the founder of Inspire Law, her diverse legal career spans over 20 years.

Survey, hotline launched amid probe into racist blood-alcohol guessing game at B.C. hospital

Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond has been appointed to lead an investigation by Health Minister Adrian Dix

Most Read