Owner charged after off-leash dog chases moose
Wednesday, Nov 25, 2015 02:58 pm
An off-leash dog chased a young bull moose for more than half an hour near Chester Lake in Kananaskis Country.
Conservation officers were called to the area on Nov. 16 after getting reports of a young moose licking vehicles in the Chester Lake parking lot. An officer tried to gently shoo the moose away to avoid conflicts with people, when an off-leash Husky started chasing the moose.
“I was trying to move it away, and it wasn’t really responding to me, but then the moose started to run and I saw the dog running after it,” said Arian Spiteri, a conservation officer with Kananaskis Country.
“The dog took off after the moose and the dog was gone for over 35 minutes. An animal being chased for 35 minutes in winter is quite a concern because of the stress to the animal and long chases can have serious consequences on the animal’s health.”
The owner of the dog has since been charged, evicted from provincial parks for 72 hours and will head to court to answer charges.
The specified penalty for having a dog off leash is $115 in provincial parks, unless certain circumstances lead conservation officers to issue a mandatory court appearance.
Spiteri said the number of off-leash dogs in the parks is an ongoing issue.
“Dogs off-leash is just not a summer time issue, it’s all year. We do have cougars, moose, deer and other small animals that are all affected by off-leash dogs,” she said. “It seems to be a chronic problem.”
There were two other dogs off-leash in the Chester Lake parking lot when Spiteri was there.
“If you can’t do an activity with your dog on leash and restrained, don’t bring your dog,” she said.
Earlier this year, a woman from the Kananaskis region was handed a $650 fine in Canmore Provincial Court for a repeat violation of having an off-leash dog within K-Country’s Evan Thomas recreation area.
Courts have also banned people and their dogs from entering a provincial park.