Followup: Dog that bit North Delridge woman deemed ‘dangerous’

October 20, 2012 at 1:06 pm | In Pets, Safety, West Seattle news | 31 Comments

Last weekend, we reported on a North Delridge case involving a woman bitten in the face by a neighborhood dog – injured so badly, she had to go to the hospital. The Seattle Animal Shelter had not cited the dog’s owner at the time, pending more investigation; we just talked again with SAS’s enforcement supervisor Ann Graves, who says they determined the animal met the criteria to be deemed a “dangerous dog” and cannot be allowed to stay in city limits. She says her agent just went out this morning to check back, and verified with the owner that the dog is no longer in the residence or in the city. If it comes back, Graves says, the owner will be charged with a criminal misdemeanor (here’s the full text of the city law) – so if neighbors see it back in the neighborhood, they should report it. (She added that the 10-day in-house quarantine of the dog, to check for rabies, “ended without incident.”)

31 Comments

  1. So the dog can go live in another neighborhood, and as long as it’s outside Seattle city limits, everything is fine with us? Foisting our city’s problem animal onto other families in other towns and we just don’t care? As a city, don’t we have a good-neighbor responsibility to families and seniors outside the city limits?
    .
    It’s a dangerous dog. What if it bites a toddler in Tacoma? White Center? Bellevue?
    .
    How is possible that we can just shrug off that risk?

    Comment by Lura Ercolano — 1:39 pm October 20, 2012 #

  2. It’s too bad that SAS couldn’t/didn’t take the dog to the shelter, and hold it until this determination was formally made, then try to find it a rehab shelter.

    .

    Mike

    Comment by miws — 2:29 pm October 20, 2012 #

  3. What would your solution be Lura?

    Comment by Rumbles — 2:42 pm October 20, 2012 #

  4. We all know what Lura is implying, but I’m afraid she would face the wrath of some commenters of she said it out loud.

    Comment by Brian M. — 3:17 pm October 20, 2012 #

  5. I don’t know what the answer is, but it seems at the VERY least the Seattle authorities should know where the dog is residing, and should be able to inform the animal control authorities in that jurisdiction, so authorities in the new location are aware there’s a history.
    .
    Think of the reverse scenario – suppose a dog bites somebody in Bellevue, and Bellevue decides the dog is dangerous and can no longer live in Bellevue. So the dog owner gives the dog to his friends in Seattle. Wouldn’t you want Seattle Animal Control to be informed? Wouldn’t you want some assurance that the new dog custodian is qualified to retrain or manage the dog?

    Comment by Lura Ercolano — 3:49 pm October 20, 2012 #

  6. As a neighbor who lives less than a block from this animal, I am relieved it is gone from the neighborhood, however, I still can’t believe there were not criminal charges in this case. The owner left the victim bleeding in the street and offered no assistance to her – not even calling 911. I can’t get over that action. It is inexcusable. My neighbor is still recovering from her horrific wounds (can’t eat properly) and is scared to leave her house. I hope this helps her feel a little safer, but I do fear that this dog will hurt someone else down the road. Animal Control seems to be passing the problem on to some other community and I worry it will result in another severe injury or worse to another victim. This dog is a ticking time bomb. Thank you, WSB, for following this and providing an update.

    Comment by Kayo — 4:04 pm October 20, 2012 #

  7. This looks like a two part problem- the dog & the owner . I agree that authorities where the dog now lives should be notified. Was 911 ever called by anyone else-the victim or a relative or friend? If not it may not be too late to do so .

    Comment by Anne — 4:25 pm October 20, 2012 #

  8. No Brian, I wasn’t trying to imply any particular solution. I am in no way qualified to determine whether this particular dog is re-trainable, whether it was a freak event, etc.
    .
    But if, say, the authorities decide that the dog isn’t vicious, and its dangerous nature could be addressed by qualified training of some sort, it seems like Seattle would have a better chance of insisting that that training occur if the dog is still in the city, and there was some sort of ongoing check-backs.

    Comment by Lura Ercolano — 4:57 pm October 20, 2012 #

  9. Lura, I totally agree.

    Comment by Nitro — 5:29 pm October 20, 2012 #

  10. I left a message for Ann Graves last week to let her know that the SWEL preschool located at Brandon & Delridge uses the park (that this incident happened in) for their 6 preschool classes as their recess area Monday – Thursday. She was kind enough to call me back to discuss the matter — I let her know I did not have any personal knowledge of this particular matter but thought SAS should know it’s used by these preschools.

    Ms. Graves advised me that any citizen with a concern contact SAS and that she thought WSB had linked to the SAS form to register a complaint/concern. Although not particular to this incident, if someone has a concern about an off-leash dog and knows the address of the owner they can issue a citation/ticket to the owner and will increase their SAS presence in the area. She also noted that they are SEVERELY understaffed (something I think we are all aware of) with I believe 14 officers for over 400 parks in their jurisdiction.

    Comment by jissy — 7:49 pm October 20, 2012 #

  11. The last paragraph of last Sunday’s story here had that link – http://westseattleblog.com/2012/10/investigation-follows-dog-bites-that-sent-west-seattle-woman-to-hospital is the story (also linked in this one) and the report-form link for SAS is atop the info list on this page of their site: https://www.seattle.gov/animalshelter/contact.htm

    Comment by WSB — 8:00 pm October 20, 2012 #

  12. Anne – 911 was called by a neighbor who came along and found the victim after the attack as she was a ways from her house when it happened and did not have a way to call for help herself. She spent a night in the hospital and has required significant follow up care because of the severity of her injuries. This is why animal control took the additional step of labeling the dog dangerous. I hope no one else is injured by this dog. It is very concerning that there is no way to warn other people who might come in contact with it.

    Comment by Kayo — 8:32 pm October 20, 2012 #

  13. So let me get this straight, someone’s dog can attack someone, the owner leaves the person bleeding on the street, and all the owner gets is a warning that the dog can’t be in our city limits anymore? So the dog and owner both run free?????

    Comment by AJP — 9:50 pm October 20, 2012 #

  14. This is SO unsettling, not only as a mother of a child who uses the park daily (where the incident occurred) for recess with nearby preschool mention above, but as someone who has endured a dog attack, also to the face. I have no problem saying out in the open that the dog should NOT be allowed live – anywhere – after such an attack. It is a FREAKING dog, people. People in this city do not understand the line between animals and humans, and I’ve found most people are more sympathetic to the animal over the human. I suffered a severe dog bite to the face 3 years ago while AT WORK in a professional office in downtown Seattle. Someone brought their newly adopted dog into the office, and being the first to give the dog a friendly and innocent hello, I received the wrath of its unexpected response. I was 29 at the time and now have to endure a serious fear of dogs (that I did not have before) and an ugly scar on my lips and face for the rest of my life. Incidentally, this rescue dog was put on a 10-day suspension from outdoor activity, then it was free to hit the streets again with its owner. For all we know, it been a problem dog before it was rescued. Sitting in the ER with my face ripped open and in agonizing pain, I promised myself I would never let this happen to my child, so therefore I’m fully in support of there being a law against returning these animals to society after a vicious attack.
    Why waste city money trying to patrol certain areas or be on the look out for known problem dogs? I’d also like to know how one “trains” an animal not to have the instinct to bite or attack someone – whether provoked or not. I think the training process is a sort of hoax to make people believe animal behavior can be corrected. How will you ever know the dog is ‘cured’ and no other person will be a victim?

    Comment by Jill — 10:19 pm October 20, 2012 #

  15. If I understand right, some are suggesting that there should be a Dangerous Dog registry that would exchange information between jurisdictions. Please be aware that sometimes dogs are unjustly accused and designated as dangerous, with extremely serious consequences to them and their human families, while other dogs that are actually dangerous are not necessarily encompassed by these laws. Also, Dangerous Dog legislation is inconsistent from place to place.
    .
    I’m not saying I know exactly what should be done here. I’m just saying that cross-jurisdictional registration is a very problematic idea, and has the potential to increase danger to dogs that are not, in fact, aggressive.
    .
    It’s worth reading a very long, very eye-opening post from last year by Steve Markwell, director of Olympic Animal Sanctuary in Forks, about the real world of Dangerous Dog legislation.
    .
    http://www.olympicanimalsanctuary.org/2011/04/whos-really-dangerous.html
    .
    About three-quarters of the way through the post, Markwell links to a retraction of one paragraph, and that shorter post is also extremely useful reading.
    .
    OAS’s motto is “We Save Dogs You’d Rather See Dead.” If anyone here remembers a dog named Snaps, OAS is where he ended up:
    .
    http://www.olympicanimalsanctuary.org/2009/09/snaps-faq.html

    Comment by K — 11:58 pm October 20, 2012 #

  16. Kill the dog. Fine the owner. Make the owner pay for all medical expenses. Sue the owner.

    Comment by brin — 12:22 am October 21, 2012 #

  17. unfortunate and sad situation for sure, as a multiple dog owner that has larger breed dogs which are protective of my family and my home, these scenarios make me frustrated. For starters, in most of these situations the “owners” have NO business owning the type of breed, but even then..breed really doesnt have much to do with it. There are more people bitten by labs and retrievers than any other breed, and the 4 lb. toy breed owners raise some of the most dangerous and unpredictable dogs Ive come across. My partner and I routinely have multiple “aggressive”doggie daycare drop-outs and trained protection and service dogs in our care and home, but we are careful and very conscience of who is in and around our home. There is no such thing as a vicious breed, just un-trained and scared dogs that are increasingly owned by these uneducated people that dont take the time or know the care needed to raise a dog that is calm, with no anxiety, and has manners. Now at the same time, there are certainly alot of random folks out walking around who also have NO business greeting peoples dogs they do not know well, especially when they generally walk up and bend over their heads which makes a nervous dog feel vulnerable and then proceed to try and touch the top of their head which makes them even more un-easy…or worse they kneel and look them straight in the eyes which is very aggressive body language for a dog, hence people getting their faces bitten. Im not implying victims fault here by any means, but I do wish people would use some logic and teach their children (and themselves) some proper manners with regards to greeting other peoples animals…. and dont scowl when you ask to pet a dog and the owner says no. Just use a little logic people…both owners and everyone else…sad story, so frustrating to hear :(

    Comment by westsidestori — 2:04 am October 21, 2012 #

  18. AJP – you nailed it. Basically no punishment and no way of knowing where this animal is now. Makes me sick when I think of what the victim is going through. Who knows where the dog is now. I guess animal control trusts the owner of the dog to do the right thing here. I, for one, do not.

    Jill – Wow. I am so sorry this happened to you. It sounds a lot like this case. It is a horrific thing to go through.

    Comment by kayo — 7:13 am October 21, 2012 #

  19. Kayo –thanks for the information . Since 911 WAS called does anyone know what the outcome of that was–what the police said/did?Surely there is a way for the victim or her advocate to pursue charges in a case like this- especially when the dog owner left the scene with the
    victim lying injured on the ground.

    Comment by Anne — 9:28 am October 21, 2012 #

  20. “Kill the dog. Fine the owner. Make the owner pay for all medical expenses. Sue the owner.” +1 Pretty cut and dry. I don’t hate dogs, but this city is INSANE about their love of dogs.

    Comment by luke — 9:55 am October 21, 2012 #

  21. Fine, I’ll say it: the dog should be seized and then euthanized. Once an animal attacks a human, unprovoked, that is it. There is no “retraining” this dog.

    Comment by Trigger — 10:00 am October 21, 2012 #

  22. Seems to me the city is setting itself up for law suits with practices like this. The next person or animal that gets bitten by this dog and finds out it has a past with really no action taken will be very unhappy. The owner of this pet should be held accountable. Not told if you leave the area and take the problem some where else we will not do anything. Bad city policy.

    Comment by Wetone — 11:16 am October 21, 2012 #

  23. I hope the victim intends to sue. Owner can easily get another ill-trained dog that leaves people vulnerable. And I’d expect that’s a likely scenario. i am a doglover and i also want to feel safe in my community – and want everyone else to feel safe.

    Comment by fiona enzo — 1:17 pm October 21, 2012 #

  24. My heart to the victim. I own a mixed bully breed.
    who is my life, but if he attacked someone anyone I would put him down. They are incredible animals, yet still basic in instinct. Once they bite easy to bite again. Kinda a like woman beaters once they hit easy to hit again. Maybe we should put them down too.

    Comment by Lis Brown — 4:02 pm October 21, 2012 #

  25. Jill- that sounds terrible and puts everything in perspective. Thanks for sharing your story.

    Comment by Greg — 7:10 pm October 21, 2012 #

  26. Note my comments at the end of the first subject posting of this vicious attack.
    Yes, the laws as they stand now allow that animal and it’s uncaring owner to move to another jurisdiction and not be adequately punished. Who knows if this animal was moved from a previous location where a different attack occurred ?
    I will assume the animal owner brushes aside all attempts by the victim to have costs of her medical care re-imbursed.
    Think of it this way, the accused/convicted have more “rights” than the victim……

    Comment by Robert — 9:10 pm October 21, 2012 #

  27. Sorry, if my dog had done that I would put it to sleep. Dogs live 10 years, people 60-100.

    Comment by tk — 1:20 am October 22, 2012 #

  28. @Westsidetori – Not sure where you got your information, but labs and retrieves are not the most bite- incident dog! Labs & retrievers do bite, as with ALL dogs, however and sadly, the following breeds have the highest incidents for bites in the U.S. and even more sad fatalities have occurred with these breeds as well (cdc.gov):
    Pit Bull
    Rottweiler
    Doberman Pinschers
    Presa Canario
    Husky
    German Shepard
    Chow
    Alaskan Malamutes
    Dalmatians
    Boxers

    Dog bites are 100% preventable. But, when you have uneducated and inexperienced dog owners the risk for injury from any dog is very high.
    Our dog works as a therapy dog and interacts with sick, “handicapable”and medically fragile people everyday. I will not allow anyone to pet or approach our dog (in or out of the worklace) without me formally introducing them to each other.
    It pisses me (and all responsible; notice I didn’t say loving) dog owners off when idiots who shouldn’t own a hamster, let alone a dog, have an incident that harms a person or another animal. The animal always loses.
    Sometimes euthanasia is the smartest solution, but not always the only solution.
    Keep educating yourself and your dog, so we can all cohabitant safely! And, PLEASE. If you’re not willing to invest in the time to train your dog AND yourself, do not get a dog (any kind of dog)!

    Comment by WTF — 9:28 am October 22, 2012 #

  29. Dog attacks by larger breeds can be deadly, permanently disfiguring, and have the capability of causing great bodily harm. Some people don’t seem to get that. BTW some of us will not be Fido’s chew toy.

    Comment by Ace20604 — 8:11 pm October 22, 2012 #

  30. Realistically, where are we going to find the resources to fund a Dangerous Dog registry or “rehab” program? Animal control officers have too much on their plates already to go around making sure each individual dog is being properly re-trained. Dogs are food or work animals in many parts of the world, and we have suggestions to use tax dollars to supervise the dangerous ones like we do human criminals on parole?

    Comment by higgins — 2:24 pm October 23, 2012 #

  31. Tigger, Luke & Brin have it right. I DO love dogs – and love living where other people do too BUT if either of my dogs ever bit anyone where they bled – the dog is getting euthanized. Period.

    I was mauled by a dog (Springer Spaniel) when I was 5 – 132 stiches in my face. The owners (my cousins) didn’t have the dog euthanized and my mother and I never understood that decision.

    Comment by Ms. Sparkles — 2:28 pm October 23, 2012 #

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