Failure to Protect
Surrey, BC - The family of Sean Bajwa, the 11-year-old boy who was viciously attacked by a pit bull in a school playground earlier this month, is planning to sue the City of Surrey, Surrey SPCA and the RCMP. The civil suit, which is expected to be filed in B.C. Supreme Court Monday or Tuesday, will allege each failed in its duty to protect the public from aggressive dogs.
DogsBite.org will be following this case closely, as should US mayors and SPCA groups and the ASPCA.
Sean's dad thinks the attack could have been prevented had RCMP responded to a complaint of two pit bulls circling a woman and her children about 30 minutes earlier. RCMP told the caller that they only get involved after a person is bitten and referred the caller to the SPCA. He dialed that number and got an automated recording. He gave up after the woman and children left the playground.
Paul Formby, the Bajwa family attorney, says the Surrey SPCA needs an emergency number, just as the SPCA in Vancouver has. Mounties also should have known they were giving out a non-emergency number. The City of Surrey will be named as a defendant because it contracted the SPCA to act as Surrey's dog pound, and is responsible for overseeing the society's operations.
"We're in the dark ages when it comes to aggressive dogs," Formby said. "The provincial government and the City of Surrey have to wake up -- people are angry."
Formby is also representing the victims of two other dog attacks recently in Surrey. In those cases, the lawsuits will name the dogs' owners and the owners' landlords. The cases include two sisters attacked by a rottweiler, and a man that was knocked to the ground by a pair of dogs in front of his home last October. In both cases, writs of summons have yet to be served.