Poor Penalties After a Dog Attack Abound Nationwide
Columbia, SC - Lauren Toole was recently walking her dog Biscuit a few blocks from her front door. From the opposite side of the street, she saw three pit bulls sitting in the front yard of a home on Hemphill Street. The dogs ran at her and bit her leg while she and her own animal tried to get away. A man Toole thinks is the owner rounded up the pit bulls.
"We ran away. But, what if it was a mother pushing a child in a stroller," says Toole. "Or maybe the kids that were playing just down the street. There were four kids. Maybe they wouldn't have been so lucky."
Toole called animal control, Columbia police and DHEC. She says a police officer came to her house the night of the attack and instead of taking a report, gave her a handwritten note with a case number on it. After another phone call to the department, a second officer came back the next day and took another report. "I would really like to see some type of punishment or a ticket for the owner," says Toole.
If only dog law policies were simple Ms. Toole. It turns out that they are not, and that they usually protect the dog owner regardless of the circumstances. It is unsurprising that animal control has not issued citations for having the dog unleashed and unlicensed. When they finally get around to doing so, the owner will likely owe an insignificant fine.
Forget about the kids that play on the block.