B.C. Parks and the veterinarian are hoping a new sign at Tow Hill will save dog owners grief.
The sign warns people that at least 10 dogs have died falling off the steep cliffs of Tow Hill and that people’s pets should be kept on leashes.
B.C. Parks area supervisor Lucy Stefanyk said the decision to put up a new sign was made following the most recent dog death a few weeks ago.
“We had another recent, unfortunate incident where a dog had to be put down due to its injuries,” she said.
“We’d like to prevent future misfortune.”
Veterinarian Don Richardson said he has seen dogs with broken legs and broken backs as a result of falling off Tow Hill.
It’s not a new problem. Tow Hill’s sheer cliff face, hidden by thick salal and undergrowth, makes it particularly dangerous for unleashed dogs, Richardson explained.
“We have been presented with dogs over the years, of all different sizes, that have gone over the side of the hill,” he said.
“It’s been a dangerous situation for a long time.”
Some families have spent hours looking for their beloved pet at the bottom of the hill, he said, and then more hours trying to carry the injured animal to their vehicle to drive it down to the animal hospital. In most cases, Richardson said, the animal must be put down or has such severe injuries that an amputation is necessary.
“It’s pretty heartbreaking stuff,” he said.
Stefanyk reminds the public that dogs and other domestic animals must be leashed at Tow Hill for their own safety, and the safety of other people using the area.