Friday, April 18, 2008
Greenwich, CT - Pit bull attack Vitim, Dick Hubert, writes a letter to the Greenwich time concerning the ridiculous and "insulting" ticket a dog owner received after its pet attacked him. Hubert asks, how would such a low penalty prompt a dog owner to be more responsible?
Dick Hubert, Greenwich TimeI would like to ask elected officials and Greenwich residents whether they think it is fair for the fine to be a mere $95 for a resident whose dog attacks and bites an innocent pedestrian walking on a public street. I ask this while still nursing a sore left leg, after having been attacked and bitten April 10 shortly after noon in the middle of Stonehedge Drive South by a pit-bull terrier -- a dog unrestrained by a leash or physical fence, with no sign of a collar for an "invisible fence."
I was in the neighborhood taking a walk/jog break from my home office a few blocks away. I returned a couple of hours later in the company of the Animal Control Unit officer from the Greenwich Police Department -- after having received emergency medical care and a tetanus shot, and filed a mandatory dog-bite report with the Westchester Health Department. The final word: Make an immediate check to see if the animal had rabies shots, and if the bite winds up really infected, come back immediately.
No owners were home on my return, and the officer, after having taken a sworn deposition and photographed my wounds for the record, left a notice on the front door that their dog would have to spend 14 days in quarantine, and a $95 fine would have to be paid.
The officer told me I would have to file civil suit for any further penalty. I hate to clog up the local courts with a civil suit on this matter, but I don't think any dog owner in Greenwich is going to be prompted by a mere $95 fine to take proper restraining procedures for a pet. Depending on the wealth and attitude of the owner, maybe a $1,000 fine wouldn't serve as a hindrance. But $95 is, for those of us attacked without any provocation, a total insult.
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