Victim Wants Penalties for Dog Owners that Defy Quarantine Law
Greenwich, CT - A pit bull terrier is in quarantine following a six-day effort to find the dog and its owner after it bit a man walking on a country road on April 10. The dog was put under the legally required quarantine Wednesday. The dog owner, Edward Koller, 28, was cited with allowing a dog to roam and harboring a nuisance dog.
Animal Control Officer Suzanne Carlin said she spoke with Koller and told him he could be charged with failure to comply with the quarantine law after several visits to the home and messages left for him went unheeded. Connecticut law requires a 14-day-quarantine for a dog immediately after it bites someone to monitor for rabies.
"We had a lot of trouble contacting him and I considered a warrant for failure to comply with a quarantine," said Carlin.
Marlene Koller, Edward's sister and the dog's co-owner, said she has offered to pay the Rye Brook man's medical bills, but remains skeptical that the victim identified her dog as the attacker. Since the incident, she has repeatedly tested an electric fence ringing the property, and found it has worked, Koller said.
"If it was my dog, I think he [the victim] came on my property because my dog is not one to go after people," she said.
No one knows if the fence was operational at the time the victim was attacked. Richard Hubert, 69, was walking on Stone Hedge Drive last Thursday when a pair of pitbulls bounded off the 53 Stone Hedge property. The larger of the two chomped his calf, Hubert said.
Hubert questioned why the law does not punish owners such as Koller for failing to comply with the legally required two-week quarantine. He said the six-day delay on the quarantine is not in the interest of public safety, and that heftier fines and criminal sanctions for uncooperative owners would prompt such owners to confine their ill-tempered dogs.
"As long as the owner defies the police by not allowing them to take custody, the owner is playing a game of cat-and-mouse with police and police are letting them get away with it."
Marlene Koller said in addition to the fines, the quarantine at a veterinary hospital is costing her $125 a day, in addition to a $650 rabies bite test on the dog. Edward Koller could not be reached for comment Wednesday or Thursday, and messages left on a listed number at his address were not returned.