The Rural Municipality of Rosedale has decided to euthanize two dogs that allegedly gained access to and killed 14 birds and a rabbit in one of the enclosures at the Neepawa Bird Sanctuary.

The decision was made during yesterday’s meeting of the RM of Rosedale’s council. The dogs have been held at the Neepawa Veterinary Clinic since they were brought there by their owner, escorted by local RCMP officers, on the day of the incident, July 5.

“The resolution that was struck was to destroy the animals,” Melissa McDonald, Rosedale’s chief administrative officer, told the Sun.

The RM has been attempting to serve the owner of the dogs, whom the Sun has chosen not to name because he does not face any criminal charges, with notification of their decision via a letter delivered by process server.

However, the owner said yesterday — before the Sun learned of the RM’s decision — that he takes issue with the way the RM tried to deliver him the news, and has refused to meet the process server to accept the communications.

McDonald said the RM always serves people with communication via process server for bylaw issues. She was not able to release any information as to what led the RM to decide to euthanize the animals. The Sun left a message with Reeve Karl Snezyk on Friday afternoon but did not hear back by press time.

The owner of the dogs told the Sun that the RM had decided to euthanize them shortly after they were delivered to the veterinary clinic, but had allowed him a 30-day period to appeal. He appeared before RM council on July 14 to propose that any decision regarding the fate of his dogs be put off until an expert on high-energy dogs could be consulted.

At the time, Snezyk said council would take it under advisement.

The dog owner said that many people in the community have told him that they don’t want to see his dogs put down.

“A lot of people are very upset to hear that those dogs have possibly already been killed,” he told the Sun yesterday before he had received the letter. “There is actually absolutely no evidence to prove that my dogs actually killed those animals.”

The Neepawa Bird Sanctuary posted photos the day of the attack that show the owner’s dogs resting inside an enclosure at the sanctuary with feathers strewn all over the ground. Images of a large hole dug beside the enclosure’s fence were also shared. However, for the dog owner, this is not enough proof that his animals are to blame for the grisly scene.

He also said he believes there should be an option for him to pay some kind of fine to the RM instead of having his animals be euthanized.

“[The RM] can argue that my dogs got out and they were at a park and possibly — most likely — killed some chickens,” he said. “They haven’t given me a trial. They haven’t presented the evidence supporting what they’ve said … all it would take is someone to have taken pictures if my dogs were chasing a dog or acting aggressively with an animal.”

The Sun attempted to contact the owner after the RM made its decision but was not able to reach him by press time.

By Miranda Leybourne, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Original Published on Aug 14, 2023 at 11:06

This item reprinted with permission from   Brandon Sun   Brandon, Manitoba
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