Dog owner must take out $1M liability insurance

The owner whose dog attacked Cinta, a toy Pomeranian owned by Randy and Brenda Coote (shown here), agreed to abide by a list of orders Wednesday, and apologized to the Cootes.

Dog owners Brenda and Randy Coote got their apology.

Their dog, Cinta, a toy Pomeranian, got brutally mauled last July when another dog, Ryler, a Rottweiler, jumped out of a convertible and attacked her. It took 96 stiches to close her wounds.

Ryler’s owner, Ken Erickson, apologized Wednesday to the couple for the attack. He also agreed to a number of restrictions imposed at Provincial Offences Court under the Dog Owners Liability Act.

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Erickson, who is battling throat cancer and is unable to speak, could only nod as prosecutor Tom McGregor read out the facts before the court, followed by an agreed-upon order.

“Mr. Erickson is prepared to consent to an order I prepared,” McGregor told the court, adding, “The order is necessary to protect the public. He must take steps for a more efficient control of the dog. We are not asking for the dog to be destroyed.”

As a result, Erickson has agreed to take out liability insurance of at least $1 million and have his dog muzzled whenever out in the public.

The owner also agreed to have Ryler licensed as a dangerous dog, must show by the beginning of April the dog has been vaccinated for rabies, display a sign at his residence that there is a dangerous dog on the property, ensure that no one under the age of 18 be in control of the dog, and have Ryler on a leash of no longer than one metre’s length when out in public.

McGregor said if any of the conditions aren’t met, Erickson could be charged with breaching a court order under the Dog Owners Liability Act. The penalties include a fine of up to $10,000 or up to six months in jail.

Outside of court, Brenda Coote commented to Erickson that she felt an apology was also in order. He came over and, using hand gestures and even a couple of hugs, did just that.

“I’m happy with what happened today and I hope you are,” Randy Coote said to Erickson, who nodded. “Just keep more care of him. He’s a beautiful dog.”
Brenda Coote is glad Erickson apologized, and is happy with the court orders.

“I just hope he follows through. We never wanted to see the dog put down,” she said.

Shane Letourneau, an animal control officer with the Chatham-Kent branch of the OSPCA, said she is glad the matter is settled and Erickson accepted responsibility for the attack.


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