Cowichan News Leader

Man contends he pulled the trigger on a dog to save a friend's life

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A Cowichan Lake Road resident is standing by his decision to shoot and kill a dog he felt was in the process of causing serious harm to a friend.

Wally Baas heard a commotion outside his residence and found Ken Campbell being attacked by four uncontrolled dogs — three Bullmastiffs and a pit-bull cross.

"It looked to me like he was getting eaten alive,'' Baas told CTV Vancouver Island News in a segment broadcast Tuesday.

"I went and got my gun and I dispatched one of those dogs. I did what I thought I had to do to save somebody's life. As far as I'm concerned, a human life is worth more than a dog's life.''

Campbell was walking his two dogs when the four dogs escaped from a neighbourhood yard and darted toward him. His dog Bob was attacked in the neck.

Campbell said he was attempting to give one of the attacking dogs the RCMP chokehold when Baas arrived.

"Wally saved me as far as I'm concerned — not just my dog but me,'' Campbell told CTV. "He's the only one that came out to help.''

Neither Baas nor Campbell would comment further on the incident when contacted by the News Leader Pictorial.

The CTV interview was "the only one we're going to do,'' said Baas.

"I said everything to the news,'' said Campbell.

According to a posting on the News Leader Pictorial website by a neighbour, Jon Walsh, Baas was awakened by the noise of the attack. He quickly assessed the situation, went for his gun and took action.

"The dog was shot to protect a human being,'' noted Baas' wife Sheryl in another posting on the News Leader Pictorial website. "Whether or not you value human life will determine whether or not the action was necessary.''

Lake Cowichan RCMP Cpl. Larry Olson said the investigation of the incident is still being conducted.

"We do our investigation and forward it to the Crown,'' he said.

In the case of a shooting, it could take a bit longer before the investigation is complete.

"If there's a police shooting, there's a big investigation,'' Olson said. "You can't compare the two, but we've got to go through our steps as well.''

Sandi Trent of the Duncan branch of the SPCA said she had been made aware of the incident by the dead dog's owner but the organization is not directly involved at this point.

"We are actually waiting to hear back from the RCMP,'' said Trent. "We weren't actually paged out on it.''

Walsh said in his posting on that those living in the area are all too aware of the dangers the four dogs have posed over the last few years.

He said a little boy was bitten through the fence by one of the dogs.

"This attack had no good outcome, no matter how you slice it,'' Walsh wrote. "The only saving grace is that the dogs lost this one for a change. I doubt any of us would be second-guessing this man had it been a child, maybe your child being attacked. This man's actions were heroic under the circumstances, not malicious.''

The owner of the shot dog could not be contacted.

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