Hal Harris, Suspect at Large
UPDATE 08/02/08: Hal Harris is believed to be the owner of the pit bulls responsible for eight different attacks. Harris was identified through licence plate checks and is thought to have five to eight pit bulls. He was seen driving a 1995 green Dodge Caravan and is listed as living at 2048 Weiler Ave. in Sidney, B.C. He's described as about 55 years old, tall and slim, with long grey curly hair and a beard.
07/31/08: Pit Bull Owner Uses False Names
Upon publishing our last post, new information was released that sheds light on the matter. Partly why the the pit bull owner has been able to elude authorities is because he has been using false names and addresses. Victoria officers that did find the man were unaware of the violent history. As soon as they became aware of it, the man had fled again.
The victim in Surrey -- whose dog was killed by the man's pit bulls -- thinks that after the pit bull owner's dogs killed the American Eskimo dog named Sofi, Victoria officials should have seized the pit bulls immediately. David Voss, the owner of Sofi agrees. But because Voss's small dog was unleashed at the time of the attack (and the pit bulls were not), his dog was considered the aggressor.
07/31/08: Officials Can't Locate Man (Again)
Victoria, BC - The owner of a band of vicious pit bulls eludes officials in BC again, and his dogs continue to unleash terror. The pit bulls' first violent strike occurred last August in Surrey, BC. There have since been seven more attacks. Two of the attacks injured a jogger and a cyclist and the rest targeted other, smaller dogs, killing two in total.
The last attack occurred in Victoria on July 7th and killed a mini American Eskimo dog. The owner, who may own up to seven pit bulls, reportedly received 50 stitches after trying to pull his dogs off the smaller dog. By the time bylaw officers went to the dog owner's address in Sidney, BC, the day after the attack, the man had fled with the dogs, which had been declared "dangerous."
Authorities caught the man once, declared his dogs "dangerous," the dogs attacked again and the man fled again.
Currently, eight separate attacks are attributed to the owner of these vicious pit bulls. The owner has also fled multiple attack scenes. It is unclear why BC authorities did not seize these dogs prior to the eighth attack and place the man in jail. It is reported that the region's bylaw service has finally put out a warrant to seize and euthanize the animals. (Better late than never.)
Surrey is also seeking charges and if convicted, the man could face fines, be barred from owning animals in the future and face charges of criminal negligence. The BC SPCA is working with Surrey RCMP and regional SPCAs to try to capture the man and his dogs. Except that dog owner was caught once and it appears that authorities did little to penalize him.
07/31/08: Coverage of Pit Bull Attacks and SPCA Issues in Surrey, BC