Friday, January 11, 2008
Two roaming dogs attacked and nearly killed a leashed miniature dachshund. One dog also bit the dachshund's owner's lip, requiring seven stitches. The dogs had a history of roaming and one had previously exhibited aggressive behavior towards dogs.
Leslie Devol was taking her usual walk with Otto, her 14-pound dachshund, when she stopped to talk to a neighbor. At the same time, neighbors Regina and Al Barber, were returning home with packages in their hands. As soon as they opened their front door two dogs flew out: Clifford, a Leonberger weighing about 100 pounds, and Charlie, a medium-sized hound weighing about 50 pounds.
"I turned around and the big dog had Otto in his mouth and was biting and shaking him and the other dog was biting (Otto). I was screaming."Animal control officer, Maryann Kleinschmitt, said the damage was extensive. She issued two infractions each to Mark and Regina Barber for allowing dogs to roam and for having a nuisance dog. The infractions carry fines of $92 for roaming and $75 for having a nuisance dog.
Kleinschmitt said she had previously seen signs of aggression in the Leonberger. She has also warned Mark Barber of the dog's aggressive behavior. She placed a restraint order on Clifford, whom she describes as "the main attacker." Charlie, she says, got caught up in a "pack mentality."
A restraint order stays with a dog for the rest of its life. Any future owner will be bound by it. The dog's owner must keep Charlie in a pen no smaller than 10 by 10 feet, constructed of a chain-link fence 6 feet high, with a poured-concrete base. When not on the owner's property, the dog must be muzzled and kept on a secure leash no longer than 6 feet. The owners plan to give both dogs away.
"Dog bites like this are really unfortunate and can be prevented," Kleinschmitt said. "Roaming is serious. Dogs can get into all kinds of trouble. That's why I come down hard on people who let their dogs roam."
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