Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Stuart dog owner ordered to pay fines following her pit bull's second attack on another dog this year

By Elliott Jones, TC Palm

For the second time this year, a pit bull dog in the care of a Stuart woman has attacked another dog in public causing injuries, law enforcement reports show. The woman, Brittany Edwards, 20, of the 1200 block of S.E. Astorwood Place, has been ordered to pay about $3,000 in county fines. She was cited for having an unrestrained dog and for interfering with a county animal control officer.
The owner of a golden retriever in the first attack — at Jensen Public Beach on April 7 — is filing a lien against Edwards to collect a $2,600 civil court judgement for medical bills.
Edwards has received written notification that the pit bull, named “Nina,” will be impounded again if it isn’t constantly kept under control and authorities aren’t kept up to date on its whereabouts. Sheriff’s investigations to date haven’t shown that the dog meets state criteria for being classified a dangerous animal.
“She is not a dangerous dog,” Edwards said Tuesday. “She does not know how to act in front of other dogs. She is a good dog. She just needs to get some help.”
Edwards said she plans to get the dog trained and that it had been spayed.
In the attack at Jensen Public Beach, the retriever’s owner, Serian Colley, 36, of Palm City, told investigators she was making sand castles with her 3-year-old daughter when “suddenly out of nowhere, a pit bull came rushing over and started attacking my dog,” reports show.
She and her husband were slightly injured while separating their dog from the pit bull, reports show.
The latest incident occurred at 1:19 a.m. May 15 when, according to police reports, Edwards opened the door of her apartment on Astorwood Place and let out the pit bull that attacked a 10-pound white dog being walked by its owner, John Aurora.
The small dog ended up bleeding on a sidewalk and needed medical care, reports show.
Edwards took the pit bull back into her apartment, but officers reported that she wouldn’t answer her door.
According to a police report, an officer “observed Edwards ... (in a room) pretending not to see me. I shined my light through the window and announced that law enforcement and animal control were there and needed to speak to Edwards.”
Following that incident, county animal officers went to her apartment eight times in May until finally, on May 28, they were able to take the pit bull for a mandatory quarantine at the Martin County Humane Society.
“You (Edwards) repeatedly hid the dog from authorities and misled ... (them) about her whereabouts,” according to a notification mailed to Edwards. That included not answering phone calls, the reports show.
Edwards said she had given the dog to someone else and it took time to get it back. The quarantine ended June 18 and the pit bull is back in her possession.

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