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Another dog shot near Pemberton

PVTA and PWA present report on crown land use to SLRD

A 14-month old German shepherd-collie cross named Sequioa has become the latest domestic pet to be shot near Pemberton.

Stephen Erickson was walking Sequioa and his two other dogs last Sunday near Owl Creek, 10 km north-east of Pemberton not far from Mount Currie, when he found her crawling around on a broken limb next to his car.

Erickson rushed Sequioa to a vet who managed to save her, but the episode cost him $1,800.

This is the third time in six months that a domestic pet has been shot near Pemberton.

In November James and Veronica Woodruff were cycling with their dog in the Mackenzie Basin area when their eight-and-a-half month Samoyed Silvia was killed.

Another dog was shot recently in a farm on Pemberton Meadows Rd, but that dog was attacking farm animals.

The Woodruff shooting highlighted a simmering land-use conflict between hunters and other recreationalists around Pemberton. This shooting is also likely to highlight other problems with stray dogs in the Mount Currie area.

In the Woodruff case there were no witnesses and the incident remains unsolved but in this latest shooting, Erickson believes he had a conversation with the gunman and two of his accomplices before he realized they had shot his dog.

"The guy who shot my dog was a white guy with two natives… I talked to them," said Erickson.

"I didn’t know they’d shot my dog until I got back to my car but when I was talking to them they said they had shot a deer up in the bush. He didn’t say anything about shooting my dog, I thought he was firing in the air to scare my dogs away.

"I was around 100 yards away when they were firing… so I went to him and started talking to him for a bit. But when I got back to my car I saw my little dog there crawling around on one leg with a bullet hole in her."

Erickson was told that the bullet had gone through one leg, fracturing her radius, and then into her chest and out the other side.

"It cost me $1,800 to get fixed, but she’s alive," he said.

"I want everybody to know that this kind of stuff is going down, especially after Veronica’s animal got killed. I mean, who shoots a puppy with a collar on?"

Woodruff said she had heard about Erickson’s dog and was confident that it highlighted a need for Mount Currie to take better control of its dog population so other dogs would not be targeted.

"If it’s a problem then we need to start pressuring Mount Currie to take care of their stray dogs," said Woodruff.

"Maybe we could set up a hunting day for stray dogs. Anything to get on top of the whole stray dog issue that might make it safer for everyone else.

"I have a friend that owns a dog walking business and she wants a place to go where she knows the dogs she’s walking aren’t going to get shot, and where is that?"

After the Woodruff’s dog was shot the Squamish-Lillooet Regional District instructed the concerned parties, which in this case was the Pemberton Valley Trails Association and the Pemberton Wildlife Association, to devise a "hunting awareness plan" by the end of April.

The PVTA and PWA’s plan is going to be presented to the SLRD this week and is likely to be a topic of discussion at the next SLRD board meeting.

But what won’t be in that report is much discussion about stray dogs in Mount Currie, although several other organizations such as Whistler Animals Galore have raised the issue previously.

Chairman of the PVTA Rod MacLeod said their awareness plan was focussed on educating the public about what the hunters and the recreationalists are doing and when.

"We’ve come up with an awareness plan so that when hunters go out they’re aware of recreationalists and when recreationalists go out biking or hiking or whatever they’re aware there are hunters in the area," said MacLeod.

"We’ve attempted to find a compromise but I think it will be for everybody."

A public forum in the fall and more signage was also part of the group’s recommendations but Chairman of the PWA, Clarke Gatehouse, said it was now up to the SLRD to implement a strategy.

"I think we (the PVTA and PWA) were both on the same page but… now as far as education and finance that’s going to be up to the SLRD."

The Mount Currie Band did not return the Pique’s phone calls and the RCMP said people could be charged, but the details of the case were still being organized.