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No Charges Justified in Case of Injuries Caused by Dog Bite


The province's independent Serious Incident Response Team (SIRT) today released its report regarding the arrest of a 48-year-old woman on the night of November 4, 2014 in Hammonds Plains in relation to an allegation of attempted murder. 

On that night, police had been called to a residence on Fisher Drive in response to a call from the 51-year-old male spouse of the woman who alleged she had just stabbed him in the chest. After a search of the residence did not locate the woman, a Halifax Regional Police (HRP) member of the integrated K-9 unit began to search for the woman behind the home with his police service dog. The woman was believed to be under the influence of alcohol and possibly still in possession of the knife allegedly used in the previous attack. A track eventually led the dog into a thickly wooded area, where it made contact with the woman, who was hiding from police, by biting her on the leg. The member of the K-9 unit was quickly was able to determine the woman was no longer armed, and the dog was called off.  Very shortly after, two other police officers, a male and a female, were able to physically arrest the woman by pulling her out of the thick woods.

The woman suffered significant and deep lacerations to her leg from the bite, likely caused as she struggled to get away from the dog.  These injuries are unusual when compared to the relatively minor injuries, if any, caused in similar situations.

The investigation showed the officers were justified in using the police service dog in these circumstances to locate a potentially dangerous suspect and to protect the safety of the officers during the search for the woman.  In addition, the use of the police service dog reduced the potential need for a greater use of force against the woman.

As a result, there are no grounds for charges against any police officer. 

The full report is available at

SIRT is responsible for investigating all serious incidents involving police in Nova Scotia. Investigations are under the direction and control of independent civilian director Ron MacDonald, who is solely responsible for decisions respecting the laying of any charge.


Media Contact:

Ron MacDonald, QC


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