Legal Wit — Man's Best Neighbour?

Legal Wit — Man's Best Neighbour?
While it is widely accepted that the dog is man's best friend, it is less certain whether the dog is man's best neighbour. It is that latter circumstance which gave rise to an incident which led to the hearing against the appellant which resulted in a declaration that her Labrador Cross dog, answering to the name of Maxine ("Max"), was a dangerous animal. The appellant takes issue with the finding that Max is dangerous and, in the alternative, asserts the sentence imposed was too harsh.


The appellant moved into the home next to the complainant sometime in 2000. The fence between the two back yards was 45 inches (114.3 cms) high. The complainant owns three dogs — two Afghan hounds and a Bedlington Terrier. The complainant testified that in the summer of 2004, the dogs were acting, as dogs do, by barking at each other through the fence. On one occasion Max was able to get through the fence and a brief melee ensued. There was some biting, but apparently no serious harm done. It came to an end when Max was shooed into her own yard.

After that incident, all was relatively quiet on the canine front other than Max would, occasionally, engage in barking and growling and charging at the fence. 

R. v. Houdek |
2008 CarswellSask 690 |
Saskatchewan Court of Queen's Bench
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