Pit Bull Owner Arrested
El Dorado, AR - Weeks after a pit bull attacked a guide dog owned by a blind woman, police have finally arrested the pit bull's 17-year old owner. The arrest came after the blind woman, Sophia Howard, worked for a month to get El Dorado authorities to take proper action. The guide dog sustained face and neck injuries and had an infected wound. Witnesses say the boy enabled the attack and allowed it to continue.
Sophia Howard went before the El Dorado City Council on Thursday, April 9, 2009 and pointed out an Arkansas law that makes it a felony to purposely kill or injure a service animal. She asked council members for stricter enforcement of the law. Apparently, police officials did not know about the felony law, or had confusion about it following the attack. Police did not release the pit bull owner's name because of his age.
20-14-304: Right to be accompanied by service animal -- Penalty and restitution for killing or injuring a service animal or search and rescue dog.
(d) Any person who without just cause purposely kills or injures any service animal described in this section or any search and rescue dog is guilty of a Class D felony.
(e) Any person who kills or injures any service animal described in this section or any search and rescue dog shall make restitution to the owner of the animal.
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