Sunday, December 28, 2008
Portland, OR - The story of Jennifer Scott and the repeat biter that attacked her, Buddha, is not a simple one to tell. Before Buddha attacked Scott (and two other people that tried to help), his owner had died of a heart attack. As the article puts it, "the dog’s owner had no way of stopping him because he was dead." While this is a highly unusual scenario, it left the victim with a bleak reality: Who will pay the medical and economic bills that stemmed from the attack?
"Animal control officers found Buddah sitting by his [dead] owner's side when they went into his house. Police said that just minutes earlier, Buddah attacked Jen Scott, 26, as she came out of her home near SE 70th and Flavel. Two other people tried to help Scott, including neighbor Justina Carrillo, who said Buddah attacked her and the other person as well. Carrillo called 9-1-1 and said when Buddah started to attack, "he just stood up on his hind legs and just ripped her by the arm. [He] took [Scott] right down to the ground..."As we reported in an earlier blog post, Buddha had previously sent two victims to the hospital in attacks in 2005 and 2006. It is unknown if additional people were also bitten in these attacks that did not receive hospital care. From this dog's bite record, we can rule out that Buddha chose to attack Scott just because it was having an "emotionally" bad day. The animal had a history of attacks, and it appears at least one of them was a "level 4" (an aggressive bite while at large).
Multnomah County Dog Law
The county dog ordinance allows for the "declassification" of dangerous dogs (Level 3, Level 4 and "dangerous") after a bare minimum of requirements are met, none of which appear to mandate liability insurance. This declassification rule seems questionable. After two years "free of incident," a dog can shed it's declaration, particularly a Level 4 or "dangerous" declaration. Yet this only partly explains why the dangerous dog convictions are so abysmally low in Multnomah county.
Declassification of Dangerous Dogs
The following conditions must be met:
- Level 1 or Level 2 dogs have been classified for one year without further incident, and two years for Level 3 and Level 4 dogs; and
- There have been no violations of the specified regulations; and
- Any other condition ordered by the director or hearings officer at the time of classification, such as the completion of obedience training.
12/27/08: Portland Area Attacks Continue to Stir Breed-Specific Debate
12/11/08: Coverage of Oregon Pit Bull Attacks and Statewide Debate
Please donate to support our work
DogsBite.org is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt public charity organization. Learn more »
| 12/28/2008 2:18 PM |
So here is the question that needs to be answered
Specifically WHO made the decision to allow a dangerous dog to be decertified?
Was it a legislator? Was it Multnomah County Animal Control?
Who wrote this into the dangerous dog law, and based on whose information, lobbying, pressure?
When was this dangerous dog law created? Was it altered after it was created?
| 12/28/2008 2:30 PM |
And this "conference" that Cindy Leung is organizing on behalf of Multnomah County, devoted to pit bulls and enabling and excusing aggressive behavior, is clearly getting Multnomah County into the "promoting and enabling dangerous dogs" business.
She has directly linked Multnomah County with propagandizing for pit bull and dangerous dog breeders.
Multnomah County is guilty. They allowed their employee to use their animal control for these purposes, and to lobby for pit bull breeders.
| 12/28/2008 3:13 PM |
In 2007, it appears that Multnomah County made the decision NOT to pick up strays
But isn't that the CORNERSTONE of animal control?
Loose dogs roaming free that can ATTACK AND BITE PEOPLE need to be picked up to prevent public safety disasters
Like bites, killings, disease spread, and about a million other things that hurt people
So who made the decision not to pick up strays?
Clearly this has put everyone in the county at risk.
This county deserves a class action lawsuit on behalf of every resident.
| 12/28/2008 4:03 PM |
Declassification appears to be automatic pursuant to the 2 year allotted time frame of being "incident free" after the animal has been formally classified as a Level 3, Level 4 or "dangerous" dog. The law is crafted as such that the "Director of Animal Control" (or person appointed by the director) has full digression every step of the way leading up to the initial classification. The "Director" has complete control over determining a Level 3, Level 4 or "dangerous" dog and exactly what happens to the dog if it is classified as such.
Levels of Dangerousness, Classification, Regulation of Dangerous Dogs and Declassification aspects to the ordinance all appear to have been passed (or revised) in 1998 (Ord. 918, passed, 08/06/1998).
Current Animal Control Director - John Rowland
He is has been in position since at least 1997, prior to the 1998 passage.
Determining Potentially Dangerous (Level 1-4) Clause
(E) Notwithstanding divisions (A) through (D) of this section, the director shall have discretionary authority to refrain from classifying a dog as potentially dangerous, even if the dog has engaged in the behaviors specified in divisions (A) through (E) of this section, if the director determines that the behavior was the result of the victim abusing or tormenting the dog or was directed towards a trespasser or other similar mitigating or extenuating circumstances.
Determining a "Dangerous Dog" Clause
(B) Notwithstanding division (A) of this section, the director or hearings officer shall have discretionary authority to refrain from classifying a dog as a dangerous dog, even if the dog has engaged in the behaviors specified in division (A) of this section, if the director or hearings officer determines that the behavior was the result of the victim abusing or tormenting the dog or was directed towards a trespasser or other extenuating circumstances that establishes that the dog does not constitute an unreasonable risk to human life or property.
Section 13.404 - Regulation of Potentially Dangerous Dogs
(C) Dogs classified as Level 3 or Level 4 dogs shall be confined within a secure enclosure whenever the dog is not on a leash. The secure enclosure must be located so as not to interfere with the public's legal access to the owner's or keeper's premises, and the owner or keeper shall post warning signs, which are provided by the director, on the premises where the dog is kept, in conformance with rules to be adopted by the director. In addition, the director MAY require the owner or keeper to obtain and maintain proof of public liability insurance. The owner or keeper shall not permit the dog to be off the owner's or keeper's premises unless the dog is muzzled and restrained by an adequate leash and under the control of a capable person. In addition, the director MAY require the owner or keeper to satisfactorily complete a pet ownership program.
1998 Board of Commissioners - August 6th Meeting
Beverly Stein, Chair
Diane Linn, Commission Dist. 1
Gary Hansen, Commission Dist. 2
Lisa Naito, Commission Dist. 3
Sharron Kelley, Commission Dist. 4
Ordinance 918 is not mentioned in the August 6th Meeting
The only Animal Issue that is mentioned is the below:
DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL SERVICES
R-12 First Reading of an ORDINANCE Amending Ordinance No. 909, in Order to Correct Several Inadvertent Typographical Errors and Omissions Contained in that Ordinance Relating to the Animal Control Code and Declaring an Emergency
Appointments Leading up to August 6th Meeting
Thursday, January 15, 1998 - 9:30 AM
Appointment of Connie Theil to the ANIMAL CONTROL ADVISORY COMMITTEE
Thursday, May 14, 1998 - 9:30 AM
Appointment of Catherine Fortenberry to the Multnomah County ANIMAL CONTROL ADVISORY COMMITTEE
Thursday, September 17, 1998 - 9:30 AM
Appointment of Ken Hughs and Re-appointment of Susan Ford Burns to the MULTNOMAH COUNTY ANIMAL CONTROL ADVISORY COMMITTEE
| 12/28/2008 6:00 PM |
Hmmmm. Animal Control Advisory Committee. This has proven a problem in other areas, as breeders have taken over these advisory committees and done as they wish
But I am not finding any suspect types in those names so far.
Declassification makes ZERO SENSE.
A dangerous dog does not change. A dangerous dog will always be a danger.
Declassification just means endangering the public, and protecting the owner of a dangerous dog. For NO REASON.
What could possibly be the rationale for declassification, other than catering to breeders. Breeders are the only ones I see asking for declassification.
It would appear that Jennifer Scott also needs to sue the Animal Control Director personally, since the director had control over this situation.
| 12/28/2008 6:03 PM |
"MAY require the owner or keeper to satisfactorily complete a pet ownership program."
This is nonsense speak and AKC jibber jabber.
AKC is the one that uses this "responsible pet owner" and "pet ownership" drivel.
A pet ownership program is worthless and useless.
There can be no satisfactory control on such a program, there is no agreement on what this entails, and if AKC has anything to do with it it will just be breeder propaganda that an AKC breeder runs and makes money on.
| 12/28/2008 7:00 PM |
ZERO SENSE is right. The dogs that are classified as "dangerous" (which appears to be almost never in this county) get all kinds of freebies, INCLUDING being declassified within 2 years. But get a load of this...
A) Classification of a dog as a dangerous dog shall be based upon the dog engaging in any of the following behaviors:
(1) A dog, whether or not confined, causes the serious physical injury or death of any person; or
(2) A dog is used as a weapon in commission of a crime.
(C) If a dog is classified under this section as a dangerous dog and the owner requests to keep the dog, the director shall have discretion to order the dog not be euthanized provided the dog is placed in a certified dangerous animal facility (WHICH APPEARS TO BE DEFINED AS ANY FACILITY HAVING A DOUBLE GATE) as defined under this chapter.
(D) The director in making a determination under division (C) of this section may consider any relevant evidence that addresses one or more of the following factors:
(1) Whether the dog constitutes an unreasonable risk to human life or property if housed in a dangerous dog facility;
(2) Whether the dog has successfully completed the certified American Temperament Testing Society or Pet Partners as deemed appropriate; or
(3) The reasonable likelihood of no repeated behavior by the animal in violation of this chapter.
2 years behind a "double gated" facility (AKA a person's home) and a dog that severely injured or killed a human being is free to ERASE it's "dangerous" declaration!
| 12/28/2008 8:29 PM |
And there's the proof
"Whether the dog has successfully completed the certified American Temperament Testing Society "
The pit bull breeders were involved in writing this law
The American Temperament Testing Society is a front group for PIT BULL BREEDERS. (including some NAIA breeders like the Holly Stump mentioned elsewhere)
No one on this earth considers anything the ATTS creates or puts out real in any way.
The ATTS just puts out unscientific pit bull breeder propaganda.
No rationale, average human being would have included the American Temperament Testing Society in ANY law or piece of legislation.
So what dog breeders influenced what county legislators? Who specifically wrote this garbage and manipulated the county into accepting it?
| 12/28/2008 8:44 PM |
And here we may have an issue of concern
The RE appointment of Susan Ford Burns
Susan Ford Burns is an attorney, and also an AKC DOG BREEDER
We have consistently seen a problem in this country with dog breeders getting on these citizen advisory councils to manipulate them for the interests of the dog breeding industry they lobby for
Some are attorneys, and these city and county councils have proven very easy to manipulate if they hear that someone is an attorney
This Multnomah County lame dangerous law has breeder interest and breeder protection all over it.
It sounds very similar to the one that NAIA breeder and pit bull breeder Holly Stump came up with with Rep Brad Hill in Massachusetts
Did the county know that Susan Ford Burns ran a breeding business? She appears to have been on this animal control advisory committee for longer than the others
| 12/29/2008 9:05 AM |
I think more victims need to sue their towns, and AC departments, to bring this issue to the forefront. You don't realize how the laws favor dangerous dog owners, until you are put in the position of having to deal with it yourself.
I live in a town with a fairly new AC rep. I went on-line to look at a blog she started for pet owners....there she is, posing with her pit bull. I am sick over this, because we have had ENDLESS problems with pit bulls in my town. Now I feel helpless, with no place to go. I know why our town fair suddenly had a pit bull rescue organization running a booth. We don't need more pit bulls in our town, but our AC rep will be pushing for it.
| 12/29/2008 11:32 AM |
All of these citizen advisory boards need to be dismantled
People who have a FINANCIAL MOTIVATION to protect an industry are getting on them, altering and subverting public policy, and endangering the public.
Legislators need to handle these issues themselves, and be responsible to citizens. Not hide behind breeder lobbyist plants.
The sad thing is that most of these breeders have unlicensed businesses and aren't even paying proper taxes on those businesses! So we often have tax cheats and scofflaws furthering their interests and making laws.