Sunday, September 7, 2008
Boise, ID - After a dog is declared "dangerous" (or is about to be) by authorities, owners of these dogs often send the animal to another state where the label will not apply. Sometimes they move with the dog; other times, they send the dog to live with family or friends. This plants the dog in a new neighborhood, one that does not know the dog's history.
The dangerous dog is shifted to a new location.Victims of dog attacks almost always voice the same message, "I do not want this to happen to someone else." Criminal and civil recourse after an attack may be difficult to achieve. But victims always want the dog restricted or destroyed so that it cannot strike again. You can imagine how a victim feels when the owner of a dangerous dog sends it to a new state, beyond control of local authorities.
Lonnie Holloway was checking out a possible construction job when a large dog at the Boise home lunged at him and planted its teeth in his stomach. The dog released its grip when Holloway began fighting back, poking it in the eyes. "As he was going for the second bite, Lonnie got away," said Chris Eisenberg, who works with Holloway and saw the incident.Leach, a 19-year-old sophomore at Boise State University, received a vicious dog citation, a misdemeanor. But vicious dog laws only go so far. Jeff Rosenthal, executive director of the Idaho Humane Society, said there's not a lot he can do about dogs that are taken across county or state lines. "I don't have the ability to put out an all-points bulletin across the nation," he said.
The dog's owner, Caitlynn Leach, didn't see her 70-pound dog try for a second bite. "That was probably me pulling him off," said Leach, who had the dog on a leash. While Holloway was at a hospital emergency room, the dog was taken to Washington State by its owner's family -- far from the jurisdiction of local animal control.
The dog was taken to the Seattle area. Boise animal control officials asked their counterparts in Seattle's King County to impound the dog. Records show that the dog was quarantined at home and checked for rabies. But there's no way Holloway or Animal Control can compel Leach to bring the pit bull-mix back to Boise to be assessed and face possible punitive action.
Idaho is also a "one free bite" state, so euthanasia for the animal is likely not an option. However, requiring a locked enclosure, posting Dangerous Dog signs, attaining a hefty liability policy and off-property muzzling would be. Seattle area citizens should be attentive to a neutered white pit bull-mix with black ears named Domino. He might rip into another belly.
Animal control’s report on the incident said that Leach’s father, Steve Leach, took the dog to Washington State "before we could get it for impound." Holloway has retained attorney Bradley Poole, who said he’s trying to settle the matter out of court.
07/24/08: Duvall Girl Witnesses Pit Bull Attack Show Calf
06/17/08: Little Girl Bitten by Pit Bull in "Land Shark Attack"
Labels: Across State Lines
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| 9/08/2008 12:30 PM |
Statutes should be put in place to handle this kind of flight from justice. Transporting for the purpose of concealment or to avoid legal consequences should be prosecuted as obstruction of justice.