Neighborhood Fights Back
UPDATE 05/07/08: Preston Royal folks packed a meeting to rid their neighborhood of two pit bulls. The dogs have attacked two people now and residents want the dogs gone -- not returned to the owner again. Debbie O'Connor, who was injured by the pit bulls, as was her dog said, "If they were my dogs and they attacked someone, I would euthanize them."
That's right Debbie, but you are a normal dog owner, not a pit bull owner who falls into a subclass of being completely bizarre.
The dogs attacked O'Connor on March 30. They injured her hand and bit off part of her dog's ear. This past weekend, the same dogs attacked David Spoede and his dog. As neighbors packed a town meeting about the problem, many of them asked the same question: What's going to happen next time? Are we going to have a child attacked or a death?
Dallas animal control says the attacks were not severe enough to warrant euthanizing the dogs. Instead, the dogs' owner, John Harris, will have to meet new requirements: The dogs must be secured and enclosed at all times, fitted with a microchip, the owner must put up signs that read, "Dangerous Dog," and the owner must carry at least $100,000 dollars in liability insurance.
The pit bull owner already failed twice to restrain his dogs. Why should one assume he would abide by added restrictions?
To great surprise, the owner of the dogs, John Harris said he will not bring the dogs back to the neighborhood. He said, "We don't have any interest in creating a bad environment in the neighborhood. We don't want to see anyone get hurt." What Mr. Harris means is that he does not want to see either of his dogs or himself seriously harmed by a pissed off neighbor the next time his dogs attack a person or a pet.
05/05/08: Afraid to Leave Their Homes
Dallas, TX - As the City of Dallas undergoes the "emotional crisis" of considering tougher dangerous dog laws, trouble continues to brew in parts of town. Residents of the Preston Royal neighborhood say they're afraid to go outside after a pit bull allegedly attacked two people and their dog. Some are even passing out fliers, warning others about the attacks.
The first attack happened March 30th. Debbie O'Connor said she was walking her dog when the pit bulls got loose and started biting her dog's neck. The dogs also bit her finger. After the attack the dogs were quarantined for 10 days. Abiding by current laws, the dogs were then released back to their owner. The dogs subsequently attacked again.
This past Saturday, the dogs allegedly attacked a man and his dog. The man received stitches and puncture wounds. His dog also got stitches, but the news article does not reveal a deeper description of the dog's injuries. Animal control has quarantined the pit bulls again, but some say that is not enough and fear the dogs will just get sent home again.
If one calculates the medical cost of injuries inflicted by these two pit bulls to people and pets, and 2 periods of quarantining, the ridiculousness of existing laws really shows up.
O'Conner thinks the dogs need to be put down, two attacks ought to be enough to kick a dangerous dog out of a neighborhood. "It's the second time in a month," she said. "Dogs that attack once certainly shouldn't be in a neighborhood full of children." Several residents in the neighborhood are going to a hearing tomorrow to ask the city to declare the dogs dangerous.
04/30/08: Dallas City Council Proposes Interesting New Ordinance