Letter Carrier Attack Resurfaces
Keansburg, NJ - For the second time in 10 months, a pit bull named Ruckas is in trouble. The fate of the dog may depend upon whose account of the dog's behavior a judge finds more credible: the dog's owner or the animal agency. Back in January, after the dog attacked a letter carrier, the Associated Humane Societies general manager and chief animal-control officer, Bruce Sanchez, had wanted the dog put down.
The issue of whether Ruckas should live or die first arose on January 11, 2008, when Ruckas "slipped out" the front door as the owner of the dog's wife opened it. The dog ran down the street, chasing after postal worker Robert Ketch, 43, of Woodland Avenue. Ketch said he was heading up the street when he was attacked from behind by the dog. Ketch suffered bites on his hands, chest and stomach from the attack.
DogsBite.org wrote several blog posts about Ketch's attack. Not only did Bruce Sanchez appear to be an avid supporter of public safety, but Ketch took his concern of dangerous dogs to the City Council. Ketch is the only U.S. Postal Service employee that DogsBite.org has on record of supporting breed-specific law, even if he was only speaking on behalf of himself. He bravely stood before the Keansburg council and said the following:
"I am trying to find out whether there is anything that our borough can enact that can take the vicious animals -- the pit bull, the Doberman (pinscher), the Rottweiler and the chow -- off the streets. I've been advised by the hospital and the SPCA (Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) that if my attack had been to a child or to a senior that it would have been a fatality."
After the attack, Ruckas was deemed "potentially dangerous" instead of being euthanized. The owner of the dog, Stephen Douglas, was ordered to enclose the dog in a four-sided structure when not tied up; construct a fence at least 6 feet high around the enclosure; and padlock the enclosure to prevent entry by outsiders. The dog was also ordered to be securely muzzled and leashed when out of the enclosure.
On October 6th, Ruckas "slipped out" of the dog owner's house again. Douglas said, "He (Ruckas) pushed the back door pen and got under the fence." A neighbor witnessed the escape and called police. Police then notified the Associated Humane Societies, which impounded Ruckas. Bruce Sanchez now has to look at this dog again and taxpayers now have to foot another "dog hearing" for this animal and its irresponsible owner.