Wednesday, April 9, 2008
Christian County, MO - Christian County, like much of Missouri, has few laws to protect rural residents from vicious dogs. Some municipalities have ordinances for the control of vicious animals, but outside city limits, state and county laws offer little protection -- at least until violence ensues.
A state legislator has proposed to change that situation, a move supported by local officials and one Nixa family whose pet was recently killed by a neighbor's pit bull mix. Kara McGhee believes this law would have helped prevent the fatal mauling of Max, her family's beloved 10-year-old black sheepdog, last month.
The new bill would make it a Class C Misemeanor for a first offense if the owner intentionally or negligently fails to adequately control his or her animal and it bites or causes physical injury or property damage. The key language here is "property damage," a category that includes livestock and pets.
Prior to the killing of Max, the McGhee family and other neighbors had a history of trouble with Hoss, a pit bull mix belonging to the Davis family next door. Once, the dog "practically tore the bumper off a car" trying to get to a cat that ran under the car for safety, McGhee said.
On March 7, as Hoss and other dogs were chasing livestock, a neighbor used a pellet gun to scare them off. Max jumped off his porch and ran to see what was going on. Hoss, who may have been "stimulated" at the time, attacked him. It took gunfire before Hoss backed off, allowing the McGhee family to try to save their mauled sheepdog.
Reporting the problems the McGhees and their neighbors allege against Hoss likely would not have offered them any protection. County officials said there was nothing they could do unless the dog bit a person.Charges have been filed in the case against 17-year-old Matthew Davis, but not for the dog attack. It was Davis' alleged threats against the family that led to Class C misdemeanor charges of third-degree assault. Prosecutor Ron Cleek said Davis is accused of telling McGhee's husband, Damon, in the presence of witnesses that he would:
"put a f----- bullet in your head if my dog came up missing ..." Davis admitted making those and other threatening remarks.The remarks came after Damon McGhee went to the Davis home and told the family about the death of Max and that Hoss should be euthanized. Commissioner Bill Barnett, a neighbor of both the McGhees and Davises, intervened in the dispute. David Harper, the boyfriend of Matthew Davis' mother, got stuck with the bill. He took Max to the vet and paid up.
In other newsLivestock Owners Defend Law to Shoot Dogs on Their Property
Idaho Falls, ID - In a separate, but related story, one has to wonder why more farmers don't shoot dogs that interfere with their livestock. Granted, in some instances, the dog attacks occur when the farmer is not present. In many states it is legal to kill dogs that disturb livestock.
In Idaho Falls, a family is heart broken after their neighbor and cattle owner legally shot their dog to death for coming on his property. The law says if a dog comes onto a livestock owner's property, then the owner can kill it. On Saturday, livestock owners wanted to stand up for the law since they say people need to understand how the law actually protects more animals than it hurts.
While it may sound cruel to shoot a dog to death for trespassing, livestock owners say it's much more cruel to lose several of their animals to packs of dogs looking for a good time.Sherry Glick owns three sheep now, but, a few months ago, that number was higher. "The dogs come in just as soon as we get them up and going and take out half of them," says Glick about losing 9 sheep over the last two years. Livestock owners don't want to kill a dog for coming on their property, but a rancher soon learns that shooting the dog can be the easier option.
Evan Smith, a Bonneville County Animal Control Officer, says it's the duty of dog owners to keep their dog off other people's property. Once they leave their property, it is a dog at large, warns Smith. Smith particularly warns dog owners about this time of year. Its spring fever and dogs like to get out and run around with other dogs. This might mean an unfortunate ending for the dog.
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| 4/09/2008 2:00 PM |
people get dogs that reflect their personality.
17 yr old punk matthew david and hoss sound like a match made in heaven (or is it hell?).
let's keep our fingers crossed that little 17 yr old matthew gets to serve a little time with the big boys...
| 4/09/2008 7:37 PM |
"Let my pit bull kill your animals and terrorize the neighborhood or I'll put a bullet in your head."
That pretty much sums up the mental agility, maturity and balance of your average pit bull owner, doesn't it?
| 4/09/2008 8:31 PM |
The only dog that has rights are pit bulls. They are the only loving pet that matters. Anyone that beleives this is mentally disturbed. Anyone that threatens the freedom for these dogs to kill and maul at will, is fare game for the owners. It's hard to tell which is more dangerous, the owner or the dogs.
| 4/10/2008 3:45 PM |
I agree with David. I think pit bull owners really do think this way. They seem to have no regard whatsoever for anyone else or anyone else's pet. No one has a right to own a pit bull, especially to own a pit bull irresponsibly. And they don't get that yet. They have only themselves to blame when their dogs are banned.
| 4/11/2008 8:52 PM |
I am concerned about where this dog lives. Does anyone know where they are in nixa? I live south rural nixa myself and have two little dogs and two kids that play outside. Just a concerned parent!
| 4/11/2008 11:06 PM |
Try to look up the McGhee name in your city/county white pages. You might get an address this way. The husband's name is Damond.
I encourage you to contact Rep. Stanley Cox of Sedalia who has introduced a new vicious animal control bill that might help put a dent in this problem.
Representative Stanley Cox District 118
| 1/02/2010 7:27 PM |
I didn't even know this page exsisted or I would have kept in contact. This happened in a neighborhood off Meadowview. We have sinced moved. It is now 2010 and nothing happened to Hoss. we still deeply miss Max. Kara McGhee