In other news of improperly restrained animals, two Tibetan mastiffs on the loose in Sioux Falls yesterday morning bit a cop and almost killed one lady:
One of the dogs bit an officer on the thigh, Sgt. Aaron Benson said. He shook himself loose and then fired two shots when the dog approached him again.
Neither dog was hit by the gunshots.
The officer was treated at Avera McKennan Hospital. It is unknown whether the dog bite broke skin, but the officer had a knife in his pocket that the dog bit down on, according to [SFPD Capt. Greg] VandeKamp.
Neighbor Jon Arneson, lawyer for the Argus Leader, saw the incident unfold. The injured woman took shelter in his garage after the attack.
“It occurred to a few of us that had she not managed to get into my garage, she could very easily have been killed,” Arneson said in an email to the neighborhood. “There is virtually no way she could have defended herself.”
By 7:40 a.m. both dogs were contained in an Animal Control vehicle. The dogs were current on vaccinations, Benson said [Megan Raposa, “State Senator Owns Dogs Who Attacked Woman, Officer,” that Sioux Falls paper, 2015.08.01].
Raposa notes that the now incarcerated dogs belong to Senator R. Blake Curd (R-12/Sioux Falls). The incident places Senator Curd in violation of Sioux Falls City Ordinance 90.002 (“…it shall be unlawful for any person to have any animal which is owned, kept, harbored or allowed to be habitually in or upon the premises occupied by him or her or under his or her control to be at large and to go in or upon the private premises of others or upon any public property”). Under Ordinance 90.003, the police chief may declare the animals vicious, but such a designation would not mean the animals will be killed. Senator Curd can save his mastiffs by satisfying these nine conditions:
- The owner of the animal shall notify animal control of any changes in the following:
- Ownership of the animal;
- Name, address and telephone number of a new owner;
- Address change of the owner or any change in where the animal is housed;
- Any change in the health status of the animal; and
- Death of the animal.
- If the animal is indoors, the animal shall be under the control of a person over 18 years old;
- If the animal is outdoors and attended, the animal shall be muzzled on a leash no longer than six feet and under the control of a person over 18 years of age;
- If the animal is outdoors and unattended, the animal must be locked in an escape-proof kennel approved by animal control. Minimum standards shall include the following:
- Fencing materials shall not have openings with a diameter of more than two inches. In the case of a wooden fence, the gaps shall not be more than two inches.
- Any gates within the pen or structure shall be lockable and of a design to prevent the entry of children or the escape of the animal;
- The required pen or structure shall have secure sides and a secure top. If the pen or structure has no bottom secured to the sides, the sides shall be imbedded into the ground or concrete;
- The pen or structure shall protect the animal from the elements; and
- The pen or structure may be required to have double exterior walls to prevent the insertion of fingers, hands or other objects.
- The animal shall be permanently identified by injecting an identification microchip into the animal using standard veterinarian procedures and practices. The number and the veterinarian who injected the microchip are to be reported to animal control;
- A universal sign denoting a vicious animal shall be displayed on the kennel or enclosure and on a place visible from the sidewalk or road adjacent to the property where the animal is kept;
- The owner shall carry $100,000 animal liability insurance covering the medical and/or veterinary costs resulting from the vicious actions or any other damage the animal may do or cause to be done. Proof of insurance shall be filed with animal control;
- The owner shall present proof of current rabies vaccination and current city license of the animal to animal control; and
- The owner shall present proof the animal has been altered to prevent reproduction to animal control [Sioux Falls City Ordinance 90.003(c), “Vicious Animals,” downloaded 2015.08.01].
Dakota War College, which has often advocated killing mountain lions out of fear that the beasts might attack us and our cattle, makes sure he clips the newspaper article to include Senator Curd’s statement that he feels really bad about “this unfortunate circumstance,” then offers this fuzzy commentary:
We certainly hope everyone involved is ok. That’s scary stuff, and but for the grace of God, could happen to any of us. As domesticated as they are, dogs are still animals [Pat Powers, “State Senator’s Dogs Involved in Biting Incident,” Dakota War College, 2015.08.01].
But for the grace of God? How about the grace of a better fence, Blake?
Folks, I love dogs. But if your dog bites one of my family members and sends her to the hospital, I will expect your dog to be dead by morning. Raise and pen your dog right, and attacks like this don’t happen.