Tuesday, April 8, 2008
UPDATE 04/08/08: Tony Buzbee, the lawyer helping the little girl, has learned that the dog had bitten before. He's got a written statement of a woman that lives above Trena Morse's mother-in-law. He says the woman also reported the bite to the apartment manager.
Blake, the apartment manger, said she’s been managing for less than two weeks. She denied that the dog was dangerous and said that it had not bitten anyone. "That dog didn’t bite and is not aggressive," she said. She also tried to pass the dog off as an American bulldog -- one of the oldest pit bull owner tricks on record.
Had the incident that injured Aubrea not been serious, Mr. Buzbee doesn't think Blake would have called the police. He also thinks that Blake minimized the little girl's injuries by calling them "scratches" -- the second oldest trick on record. This of course led animal control to release the dog because the incident was not considered a "dog bite case."
Blake claims that Hedgewood, the owner of the dog, is not a resident at the complex. She also said that she saw the dog out 3 times that day. Each time, she returned the dog to the apartment were Hedgewood was staying. The apartment complex forbids dogs over 25 pounds and flat-out prohibits pit bulls and rottweilers.
04/05/08: Woman Hanged Dog, Couldn't Afford to Quarantine
In a story that depicts just how troubled some pit bull owners are, Tiffany Hegwood of Texas City recently hanged her dog from a tree. Police initially believed that Hegwood feared animal control would euthanize the dog after it injured a 2-year old child, so she put a rope around the dog's neck and hanged it from a tree.
At first, Police thought 2-year old Aubrea suffered only minor injures, but Trena Morse, Aubrea's mother, said she found 6-10 puncture marks on Aubrea’s backside. She took her to Mainland Medical Center, where animal control officers took a bite report. The dog also knocked down her son, Adan Morse, 3, and 10-year-old daughter, Amber Coombs.
Animal control officers took the dog to the animal shelter in Texas City and gave Hegwood, who lives in the apartments, the option of having it quarantined at the shelter or at an authorized kennel. The shelter then released the dog back to Hegwood on the condition she would quarantine it for 10 days to determine if it showed signs of rabies.
Animal control officers arrived at the woman’s apartment Tuesday, expecting to pick up the dog for the quarantine period. Hegwood told them that the dog was already dead. "Me and my friend took the dog out, shot and buried it," she said. When officers asked Hegwood to show them where it was buried, she said she didn’t know.
Officers gave her until 4 p.m. to locate the dog. Hedgwood showed up at the animal shelter later with two guys in a pickup, and the dead dog in the bed. Animal control said it was obvious the dog had never been buried or shot but had been strangled. It is unclear upon which tree the dog was hanged.
Capt. Brian Goetschius of Texas City police said Hedgewood killed the dog because she didn’t have the money to quarantine it and believed it would be killed anyway. At least now the health district can send the dog’s head to a laboratory to test it for rabies.
In many states, killing your own animal is legal, as long as it is done humanely, for instance, by shooting it. Strangling an animal by hanging it from a tree does not constitute a "humane" method.
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| 4/05/2008 5:11 PM |
"couldn't afford the quarantine"
i think this butt ugly piece of garbage is making it up as she goes.
hope they fry her ugly ass for this.
i believe biting dogs should be humanely euthanized not tortured.
| 4/05/2008 6:35 PM |
The sick irony here is that the Pit Nutters will be sticking red hot pins into a voo doo doll of this woman. However, when pits kill hundreds of neighborhood dogs throughout the US, they could give a crap!
| 4/06/2008 1:38 AM |
The "pit bull problem" in the US represents a sickening violence and downfall within our culture. 20 years plus and counting...Too many places within the US mock the same 3rd world country rational and behavior as Ms. Hegwood.
| 4/08/2008 11:47 PM |
I do not think Lillian's Law applies -- it might! The dog did break free of constraint. An interesting case to watch for sure. However, the law may only apply to "severe injury" as well. It is unclear if this child suffered the legal definition of "severe injury."
| 4/09/2008 11:06 AM |
I say, sue the landlord who owns the building, fire the apartment manager who ignored the danger, and evict the dog owners mother-in-law who allowed her to bring the dog there.
Maybe THAT will get folks to think twice about allowing pit bulls into apartment complexes.
| 4/11/2008 5:17 AM |
Reading this story made my Pit Bull Spidey sense tingle...
It wouldn't surprise me if the apartment manager is a fellow Pit owner who was trying to protect her "PitSista" from discrimination.