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Properly handled, one Rottweiler is not a threat to the public, says report

The author of one of the city’s assessment reports on two Rottweilers facing destruction orders wrote that one of the dogs could be rehabilitated in the right hands.

But the assessment of the second dog from Jaime Kinna, of Good Dog Behavioural Assessment, wasn’t so positive.

On Oct. 25, Axle and Paris escaped their backyard, and wandered onto a townhouse construction site, where worker Dustin Wang encountered them as he worked beside the front entrance to one of the unfinished units on Alberta Road.

When Axle, the larger of the two dogs at about 135 pounds, approached him, Wang fled inside the townhouse, and later noticed a slight pain below his left buttock. It turned out to be a dime-sized contusion, which neither broke his skin nor tore his jeans, though it was described by a City of Richmond staffer as a “serious” injury in court documents.

In Kinna’s report on Axle, the dog that nipped Wang, she doesn’t believe he would be a threat to the public if handled properly. In the report, she scored him as low in aggressive behaviour, low to medium in anxiety/fear, medium to high in obedience, and high in biddability (willingness to work with people).

“Overall Axel showed himself  to be able to handle interaction, stress and slight conflict with a stranger very well. He is a dog that shows very high food and high toy drive, and this could possibly indicate a high prey drive,” Kinna wrote.

On whether Axel can be “rehabilitated,” Kinna found: “I do believe in responsible hands and with a strict management plan that this dog would not be a threat to the general public.”

Kinna’s assessment on Paris was another story.

“Overall, Paris has shown that she does not handle stress or conflict well, and resorts to fearful and reactive behaviour when presented with such. She does not seem to have a willingness to investigate or work with strangers.”

On whether Paris can be rehabilitated, Kinna wrote: “It is my experience that dogs that display the behaviour noted in today’s assessment with Paris is extremely difficult to rehabilitate even under professional supervision, and if management is not strictly followed then they may pose a large risk to the general public.”

Kinna scored Paris as high in aggressive behaviour, high in anxiety/fear, low in obedience, and low in biddability.

Meanwhile, an animal behaviour specialist, hired by the owners of two dogs facing a City of Richmond destruction order, has complained that Kinna’s report used her methodology.

Dr. Rebecca Ledger, of Animal Behaviour and Consulting, told The Richmond Review Thursday she’s sought legal advice regarding the report written for the City of Richmond by Kinna. Ledger said Kinna’s report uses testing methodology seemingly copied, in some sections verbatim, from a report Ledger wrote in February 2013.

Asked how Kinna might have come across Ledger’s earlier work, Ledger said that Kinna authored a report for the City of Port Coquitlam last year. Ledger was hired by the defence in that same case, and her report would have been made available to Kinna. Ledger also noted that Kinna’s report from early last year was constructed substantially differently from the November report she supplied the City of Richmond on the two Rottweilers.

“The difference between the reports she used to write, and this report—since she has acquired my copyrighted documents—is incredible,” Ledger wrote in an e-mail.

City of Richmond spokesperson Ted Townsend said there are two assessment reports that have been written about Axle and Paris, and they “are only a small part of the effort to seek the destruction of the two dogs.”

Townsend added: “Certainly, if there’s concerns about the assessment (report), we would invite Dr. Ledger to make those aware to the city...and we would invite suggestions if there’s an issue with the assessment or the conduct of the assessment.”

Reached Thursday afternoon, Jaime Kinna said it was “upsetting” to hear the copyright infringement allegations by Ledger.

“I do have a lot of respect for Dr. Ledger,” Kinna said.

But she declined to comment further, and was planning to speak to counsel.

Ledger will be conducting her own assessment of the two dogs on Monday, when owners Prabjot and Nav Nijjer will be able to see them for the first time since the minor Oct. 25 biting incident that ignited the controversy.

Meanwhile, another protest is being planned for city hall, this one at 6:30 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 27, according to Carolyn Quirt, who organized the first protest last week.

“Protesters hope to get attention at the next city council meeting,” Quirt wrote in an e-mail.

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