Thursday, December 18, 2008

Idaho Vicious Dog Laws Questioned *Ignorant Owner AGAIN!*

The attack of an animal control officer by a vicious dog has city officials questioning state statutes. They say they want to place a limit on the amount of times a vicious dog can be moved to a new city after charges have been brought against them.

Which is something, if in place, could have stopped this recent attack.

When Animal Control Officer Tammy Anderson was attacked by an unprovoked pit-bull, she needed two arm surgeries, that she is now recovering from.

But it could have been a different story if it wasn't for the fast thinking of a Pocatello Police Officer.

Mary Remer, Pocatello Animal Shelter Director: "The first officer that arrived on scene did save her life."

Something that may have been avoided if state laws were different.

The dog that attacked Tammy had already been cited for vicious behavior in two other counties.

Mary Remer: "She was given pretty much a choice. She could keep the dog but she would have to get very high liability insurance policy, pay higher fines, and spend some jail time if she wanted to keep the dog."

The owner opted to move the dog to its third county, avoiding jail time and higher fines.

Mayor Roger Chase, City of Pocatello: "I have talked to representatives about some changes I think we need in state statutes and one is, I think we need a statewide registry for vicious dogs. I'd also like to see a law that you can move it once, but the second time it needs to be destroyed no matter what town it's in."

The dog was previously in American Falls. They called Pocatello to warn them about the dog's move, something they did out of courtesy not because of a requirement.

If there was a registry, that would change. But the state's penalty for a vicious attack is still a misdemeanor.

Mayor Roger Chase: "The thing that probably would be a detriment to many people, and something we're going to encourage people to do, are the civil penalties that could come with it. That would mean if a dog was to attack a member of your family or yourself, you could sue them for damages beyond what the charges are, what the city could charge them."

And this is for every breed of dog, not just the stereotypical aggressive breeds, answering the question of whether a breed ban would now be implemented.

Mayor Roger Chase: "Right now we're not contemplating looking at that. I think the problem is with the owners not the dogs and I think any breed of dog can be made vicious if you don't take care of it or breed it to be such."

Which the victim of the attack agrees with.

Mary Remer, Pocatello Animal Shelter Director: "She doesn't want that [breed ban] to happen either out of this. She realizes there is still a lot of good pit-bulls, there's still a lot of bad Rottweilers, a lot of bad Chihuahuas out there as well, so it's not the breed itself, and she doesn't hold it against the dog."

People should also be reminded that not only will the owner be held responsible, anyone watching a dog or allowing a dog onto their property, that then attacks someone, can also be held responsible.

There has also been some talk that this dog may have been involved in illegal dog fighting.

Mary, with the animal shelter, and the mayor say that dog had all the signs of being involved in dog fighting rings: very low cropped ears, deep scars all over his body, un-neutered and aggressive.

Mayor Roger Chase: "We've looked to see what type of relationships we can find with some of the other dog fighting rings we are trying to shut down in Idaho and we haven't been able to tie this particular dog to one of those at this time."

If you've seen any indications or signs of dog fighting rings in your neighborhood, you are asked to contact your local law enforcement agency.


Anonymous said...

I dont understand why we (as humans) have licenses for guns, fishing, hunting, driving, ect., but a license for a pit bull isnt good enough. Any dog can attack, and be dangerous. I own a half pit bull half weenie and he is the sweetest animal you could ever be around. He is smart, funny, and fun. Very well trained by my boyfriend and I. We have only had him a year two days ago. I cant get him taken away from me. I will be willing to take punishment for my dog's behavior. BUT that does not mean if one pit bull attacks someone, all pit bulls should be banned or punished. It just should depend on the owners, and getting them licensed. I love my Dog very much. I cant lose my best friend because of others who were out of line.

i need to sign a petition or something. i must stop this. THis is very horrible

Anonymous said...

This half pit bull - half weenie sure gets around. I see similar comments from the owner of this dog on many web sites. I'm glad you like your dog so much. You're right, bad dog owners are mostly to blame. Some blame has to go to temperament. Pit Bulls are 'status' type dogs for some groups in society, and they were originally bred as fighters. I dislike the breed and wouldn't let my children around them, no matter what assurances the owner makes. But Pit Bulls are not the only dangerous breed. So I would support liability insurance requirements for anyone who feels they need or desire to own a breed of dog that is known to be dangerous. Having been bred as fighters, the Pit Bull falls into that category by default.
Now some dog owners may protest this because they feel it would be an 'economic hardship' on them. But one bite from any aggressive breed of dog can cause untold thousands of dollars of damage to the victim. Both for medical costs and the psychological after effects of a dog attack. And recouping these damages can often be nearly impossible, even if the victim wins a lawsuit against the dog owner. That just isn't fair to the victim. If you want to own a dog breed that is known to be aggressive, then you should be responsible for it, which includes the ability to cover the expenses incurred should your cuddly, loving, never-a-threat-to-anyone dog suddenly act in a manner for which it had originally been bred.