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

Ferry connecting Port Hardy and Bella Coola expected to set sail this summer

Its first in-service route will sail in central coast waters on May 18, 2019.

BC Parks Student Ranger Program accepting applications for 2019 season

12 crews of four student rangers will work in regions throughout the province including Bella Coola.

Over $650,00 given to rural communities thanks to Rural Dividends

Five communities, including Williams Lake, are receiving $10,000 for project grants

Pregnant Cariboo firefighter tries to save own house from blaze

Julia Flinton and Anthony Sellars both worked on the 2017 wildfires

Road report for Highway 20

Fog patches and slippery sections; Drive BC

Self serve doggy-wash poised to change dog grooming industry

Add money, start spraying to wash dog in the K9000

Women’s March returns across the U.S. amid shutdown and controversy

The original march in 2017, the day after President Donald Trump’s inauguration, drew hundreds of thousands of people

Federal Liberals announce former B.C. MLA as new candidate in byelection

Richard Lee will face off against federal NDP leader Jagmeet Singh

No winning ticket in $10 million Lotto Max jackpot

No win in Friday night’s draw means the next Lotto Max draw will be approximately $17 million

Scientists ID another possible threat to orcas: pink salmon

For two decades, significantly more of the whales have died in even-numbered years than in odd years

Burnaby byelection turmoil sparks debate about identity issues in politics

The Liberals still have not said whether they plan to replace Wang, who stepped aside Wednesday

B.C. woman planned to donate a kidney to her husband, then found out she has cancer

Richard Stuart needs a kidney, his wife Tracy has been diagnosed with cancer

Rookie Demko backstops Canucks to 4-3 win over Sabres

Young Vancouver goalie makes 36 saves to turn away Buffalo

Charges upgraded against mother of murdered B.C. girl

Kerryann Lewis now faces first- rather than second-degree murder in the death of Aaliyah Rosa.

Most Read