Legal group says police dog oversight needs more teeth

Vancouver, BC, Canada / News Talk 980 CKNW | Vancouver's News. Vancouver's Talk
Legal group says police dog oversight needs more teeth

A legal advocacy group is calling for change after it found B.C.’s police dogs are biting people at an alarming rate.

Doug King with Pivot Legal Society says someone in the province was bitten by a police dog either other day between 2010 and 2013, and some places were worse than others.

“Vancouver, Abbotsford and RCMP in the North – their bite rates are twice any other departments. They are some of the highest bite rates we’ve seen in North America, to be honest. So we have some departments that have a lot of questions to answer.”

King says they want better record-keeping of dog bites, restrictions made on when dogs can be deployed, especially with children, and improved training methods.

He says Saanich and New Westminster have far fewer bites because of how they train dogs and handlers.


  1. Can we get a bit of perspective? Are they biting at random or are they biting suspects who are trying to flee and not listening to police commands to stop? Because if you’re trying to flee then you deserve to get bit in a take down.

  2. The only time a police dog should bite is when they are threatened, their handler is threatened or they are commanded to.

    So if a dog handler is tracking a suspect with his dog from the scene of a crime and they catch up to the suspect, does PIVOT want the police officer to ask the suspect their age before sending the dog on the suspect?

    Police dogs are not there to be friends to suspected criminals. There are there to be utilized for tracking, drug or bomb detection, crime scene searches and criminal apprehension.

    PIVOT clearly has no idea about how police dogs are used and how fluid and dynamic scenarios become when chasing a criminal. How is it that a the police dog and his training are brought in to question when somebody has done something to require the dog to bite them?

    PIVOT would do better trying to assist the criminals find a way to not have to break the law so the police are not required to send a dog to apprehend them.

  3. Amen ! The pivot Society thinks that the world is all warm and fuzzy and their clients are all underapprecited , misunderstood and misguided and any force used on this SCUM somehow interfears with their civil rights . (being able to steal and committing crimes with impunity). The dog bites should be the least of their worries . The Pivot Ledal Society should be councelling their clients that all criminal activity will not be tolerated. End of story !!

  4. If Legal Pivot Society wants fewer police dog bites they should sponsor a public awareness campaign starting with the the criminals they defend. When you are riding down Powell st on an $8000 racing bike with a flat-screen under your arm, obey the cop with the 100LB German shepherd who commands you to stop. Otherwise you are fair game