Conservation Officer Service backs officer who shot dog 

Dog owner considering review of decision

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The Conservation Officer who shot and killed a dog at Blackwater Lake while on duty in February has been cleared of any wrongdoing.

The Conservation Officer Service (COS) investigated the incident and concluded the CO believed the dog, owned by Alexey Osmolin of Burnaby, was "an imminent threat to his safety" and the use of force against the dog was consistent with his training. His decision to shoot the dog was described by the COS as lawfully justified.

The findings were given to Pique on April 14 by the B.C. environment ministry. Osmolin said he received the conclusions via mail last week.

"The investigation found that the dog had a history of aggressive behaviour," wrote the environment ministry in the statement.

"There is no evidence that the CO breached the Conservation Officer Service's Code of Conduct during this incident."

The statement went on to express sympathy for Osmolin.

"We realize that the loss of a pet is a traumatic event for the owner — and are sorry for their loss," the statement read. "In accordance with our Public Complaint Procedure, if the complainant is not satisfied with the decision, they may request a review by the Chief Conservation Officer within 30 days."

Osmolin said his legal advisors have indicated he doesn't have to rush his decision and take action within the 30-day window.

"I will be pursuing it further," he said.

He didn't elaborate.

Osmolin said he doesn't now own a dog after the killing of Rada, a five-year-old Belgian shepherd. Osmolin was ice fishing at Blackwater Lake with a friend on Feb. 3, at the time of the incident. The CO was doing routine inspections when he came upon the fishermen with the dog. Osmolin alleges the CO snuck up and surprised the group then shot the 18kg dog as it barked at the CO.

The name of the CO involved is not being released.

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