By Lisa Spector, Juilliard Graduate, Canine Music Expert and co-founder of Through a Dog’s Ear.
On April 19th, a greeter employed by Home Depot in Ottawa, Canada approached an elderly woman’s 12-year-old Shih Tzu dog, Spot, who was in her shopping basket. The employee, Anne Riel, reportedly leaned over and reached into the basket with her hand to pet the small dog, who then jumped up and bit off a part of her nose. Riel was rushed off by ambulance and needed seven stitches to repair her nose.
Because of the incident, Home Depot Canada decided to ban their allowance of all pets into their Canadian stores starting May 16th, however they will continue to allow certified service dogs. Previously their policy allowed all pets into their stores, as long as they were under the owner’s control. A release written by Tiziana Baccega, Home Depot Canada’s manager of public relations says, “Many of us at the Home Depot Canada are pet owners ourselves, and we understand that the majority of pet owners are responsible in how they control their pets, however, we believe this is the best decision for the shopping enjoyment and safety of all customers.”
The dog’s owner, Odette Fournier, has been fined $610, and she was also issued an order to keep Spot muzzled outside her home. Riel said she wanted the dog put down and that she hopes her experience shows the public that it’s not just certain kinds of dogs that can become aggressive. “Please, please understand it’s not only the Pit Bulls and German Shepherds and the big dogs that are nasty,” she said. “The small dogs can be just as nasty and that’s what’s deceiving.”
Next: Was Spot at fault?