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B.C. man who hurled dog at shelter staff won't get pet back

Daisy the Dachshund "found herself flying, twisting and turning through the air."
Dachshunds can be nervous when not treated well. Vikki Hui photo

A man who hurled his dog, Daisy the Dachshund, at staff at a shelter in Campbell River won’t be getting his pet back, a B.C. Farm Industry Review Board member has ruled.

“One can only imagine what Daisy thought as she found herself flying, twisting and turning through the air, after being violently thrown by her owner for a distance of nine feet at two men standing in front of the shelter gate,” Wendy Holm said in her Sept. 12 decision. “The physical shock of hitting the man, then the metal gate, then the concrete below would have increased her emotional distress, pain and suffering.”

Holm said the man, known as D.B. in the ruling, had been living at the shelter for several weeks when he was banned after getting into an altercation with other residents July 7.

He asked for Daisy to be returned which they did.

D.B. then got into a verbal altercation with two other people, an exchange caught on surveillance cameras.

“(D.B.) can then be seen shifting his weight back onto one leg, lifting Daisy into the air, and hurling her like a football at the two residents standing at the gate,” Holm said. “Daisy flies through the air, bounces off the shoulder of one resident and then appears to then hit the gate before falling to the concrete.”

An SPCA officer said, “that not only was Daisy abused, but she was also weaponized.”

The incident led to Daisy being rescued by a resident before being surrendered to the SPCA.

“(D.B.) is then seen yelling and shaking in anger, trying to gain entry to the shelter to retrieve Daisy,” Holm said. “He tries climbing the fence surrounding the shelter before backing away.”

The RCMP soon arrived and examined Daisy. An officer reported Daisy “had sustained minor visible injuries to her chin as there was fresh blood there. Daisy appeared to be in shock and was trembling.”

On July 10, an SPCA officer contacted D.B. to say he was being criminally investigated for animal cruelty.

D.B. claimed Daisy was his therapy dog.

An SPCA officer countered, saying, “I cannot accept that Daisy’s health and well-being should be put at risk in the pursuit of your own.”

D.B. testified he was not on his psychiatric medications at the time of the incident because his doctor had taken him off them. He has bipolar, depression, and ADHD.

Daisy was put into a foster home, where she was described as initially timid and stressed.

“There's no more trembling and she enjoys being petted,” the SPCA officer said. “She will jump up onto the sofa beside her foster parents, settle down for the evening and actually relax and go to sleep instead of sitting up and being watchful.”

Holm ruled there was no doubt D.B. loves Daisy and treats her as an emotional support dog.

“Given (D.B.’s) mental health issues, quick temper, agitation and propensity for anger and shouting, this role in his life has proven very stressful, and ultimately dangerous, for Daisy,” Holm said.

She declined to return Daisy to D.B., ordered him to pay the SPCA $458 and expressed hope Daisy could be adopted.

“For Daisy, it is time to retire from her role as (D.B.'s) emotional support dog and move on to her forever home where she will hopefully receive the love and support she needs to heal and trust again,” Holm said.