Dog bites man is not a story, goes the old news adage. But the dog bites the candidate?
Conservative candidate Goldie Ghamari found herself on the sharp end of a constituent’s dog this week while knocking on doors in Carleton. Ghamari, the current MPP, tweeted about the incident on Tuesday.
“Today I was bitten by a dog while I was knocking on the door. He was on my thigh just below my butt so I didn’t even get to check the damage until I got home because I was out in public and with my volunteers. The woman just apologized and walked away from her without giving any information,” Ghamari tweeted.
He posted a photo of the wound on Twitter showing several small puncture wounds where the animal’s teeth had pierced his skin.
“I don’t want this to happen to anyone else, including a child. But the optics of an MPP calling a constituent an ordinance is quite bad. However, as a dog owner, I would never let my dog do something like that. My dog has been sleeping on top of the bite since I got home.”
“I am really torn. I think I’m going to have to call the statutes because I don’t want this to happen to anyone else. I didn’t even realize how much blood was on my pants until I got home, because they were black.”
In a phone interview Friday night, Ghamari said he was campaigning in Findlay Creek when he spoke to a woman who was walking her dog. The two were talking at a socially safe distance due to COVID, when the dog pounced on Ghamari’s leg.
“I didn’t look at the dog. I didn’t bend down to pet him. I didn’t make eye contact…and the next thing I know he’s lunging at me and biting my thigh,” Ghamari said.
“She said, ‘Oh my God, did my dog bite you?’ I said yes! He bit me!
“I was in shock. It was also a bit embarrassing because I was outside with my activists and I couldn’t help but see how bad it was.”
Ghamari described the dog as a knee-high white poodle-type dog. He was still growling and lashing out when the woman excused herself and backed away from her.
It wasn’t until Ghamari got home that she realized her pants were soaked with blood. She never thought to ask for the woman’s contact information.
After her tweet, Ghamari was contacted by an Ottawa statute on Twitter who urged her to file an incident report, which she did.
“I didn’t want to make a big deal out of it, but a lot of people called me. Even my family called me because they were worried.”
On Thursday, Ottawa Public Health contacted her for a follow-up. And after explaining what happened, OPH said he would probably be fine and the risk of the dog having rabies was very low.
“Shout out to Ottawa Public Health,” Ghamari said. “They were very helpful.”
Ghamari dismissed the bite as “an occupational hazard” but was concerned about what would have happened if the dog had bitten a child.
Dog owners whose animals attack can be charged under the Dog Owner Liability Act and face fines of up to $10,000 and six months in jail.
“Charges may be brought against any dog owner whose dog has bitten or attacked or behaved in a manner that poses a threat to the safety of persons or domestic animals or where the dog owner failed to take reasonable precautions to prevent the dog from a dog does any of the above,” explains the city’s website.
Ghamari was first elected in 2018, easily winning Carleton by more than 13,000 votes, more than double her closest opponent.
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