Blood dog shot and wounded: hunter ordered to pay more than $10,000

Saint-Pacôme-based blood dog handler Patrick Alexandre won his case on June 14 in the Small Claims Division of the Court of Quebec. He was claiming the sum of $15,000 for serious injuries that were inflicted by a gunshot to his working dog by a hunter while he was in the forest in Témiscouata in October 2019.

After hearing the facts, Judge Hermina Popescu sentenced one of the defendants, hunter Raymond Thériault, to compensate blood dog handler Patrick Alexandre in the amount of $10,528.22.

The defendants admitted that the Bloodhound may have been accidentally injured by a bullet fired by the hunter at the moose. According to the judgment, Patrick Alexandre paid an amount of $9,160.28 to pay the veterinarian’s fees. His blood dog, Jessy, a Red from Hanover, had emergency surgery on her right hind leg and was put in a cast after being hit by a rifle bullet. The plaintiff had to spend a few days with his animal in order to lend him assistance. Judge Popescu recalled that no formal criminal charges have been filed against the defendants.

Patrick Alexandre said he heard mountain bike noises on a dirt road, not far from where he was following the trail of an injured animal in the woods. The Bloodhound is trained to find wounded game that has run away.

According to testimony, Mr. Alexandre did not keep his dog on a leash, but he wore a collar equipped with a GPS. In court, he conceded that a bloodhound handler must keep his animal on a leash at all times. When Patrick Alexandre heard the ATVs come to a stop, he shouted “Don’t pull my dog”. Almost at the same time, he heard a detonation about 300 meters ahead of him, unable to see anything due to the forest cover.

The defendant claimed that he shot the moose twice in order to kill it, including once while the animal was lying on the ground. “The Tribunal considers that Mr. Thériault, when he shot the moose, when he saw Jessy constantly circling around the animal, committed a fault because he did not make sure that his bullet would only hit the moose”, can we read in the judgment.

Judge Hermina Popescu found that the plaintiff, Patrick Alexandre, also committed a fault because he did not keep his dog on a leash. She estimated that the split of liability amounted to 80% and 20%, which meant that the defendant had to pay an amount of $10,528.22 to Patrick Alexandre, while the latter was claiming the maximum amount allowed for small receivables, i.e. $15,000. The decision was rendered on June 14 in this case. In a post on social networks, Patrick Alexandre confirms that his blood dog Jessy has returned to service.

To read also: A blood dog hit by bullets in Témiscouata

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