Thursday, July 29, 2010

Owners don’t think dog dangerous

By Elizabeth Barrett, Gothenburg Times

Davis family questions designation after pit bull bites neighbor

The owners of a dog deemed dangerous don’t think she is.
For the second time in a row, Joseph and Krista Davis approached the Gothenburg City Council about their pit bull that bit a neighbor on July 7 which required a visit to the emergency room.
At the time of the incident, the neighbor—Adam Hays—was trying to separate his dog from the Davis pet.
Under city code, dogs or other animals are declared dangerous when they:
inflict severe injury on a human being without provocation on public or private property;
kill a domestic animal without provocation while off the owner’s property;
Been previously found to be potentially dangerous, the owner having received notice of the finding and the dog or other animal again aggressively bites, attacks or endangers the safety of humans or domestic animals.
If declared dangerous, owners must do certain things including payment of $250 initially and a $100 renewal fee to the city each year, obtaining insurance and insuring the animal is properly confined.
At issue was whether or not the chain holding the pit bull was long enough to allow the dog to go into the neighbor’s yard.
“Their (neighbor’s) dog was loose,” Davis said.
Gothenburg police officer Ryan Randolph, who investigated the incident, said there are conflicting reports about what happened.
Randolph said Brenda Hays told him that their dog was on their property and the pit bull grabbed the animal and dragged it to the Davis yard where it was attacked.
Krista said her dog couldn’t reach the Hays yard on the chain.
“Possibly to the property line but not over it,” she said.
City attorney Mike Bacon said if the dog didn’t leave the property it shouldn’t be declared potentially dangerous.
Bacon suggested adjourning the meeting and measuring the chain.
Randolph said there could be issues because the trampoline to which the dog had been chained had been moved.
“All you can do is look at probably evidence,” Bacon said.
The council directed Randolph to measure the chain and try to get the Hays family to attend the Aug. 3 meeting to talk about the incident.

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