Dog attacks lead to euthanization in Washington

Washington Police Chief Greg Goodman reported today that a dog that was involved in an attack Monday afternoon is in the custody of the City of Washington and his intent is to have the dog humanely destroyed.

According to the Washington County call log, a subject was walking two dogs in the 100 block of North H Avenue in Washington. The two dogs were attacked by two pit bulls, which Goodman said came from a residence. One of the caller?s dogs ran off toward the underpass. The caller reported being injured but denied medical attention. An officer located the pit bull and its owner. Sedrick Johnson was given a court date for failure to provide proof of current rabies vaccination.

?My full intention is to have it destroyed and have it checked for rabies,? Goodman said.

Goodman believes the pit bull in the custody of the city is the same pit bull that reportedly was involved in an incident with two people on Sept. 28. Resident Karen Gorham had spoken of an incident where a pit bull dog had stalked her while she was walking along West Washington Street. At the same meeting, Riverside resident Xiomara Levsen had reported her 13-year-old son Dustin had been attacked by the same dog in Sunset Park. No injuries were reported from the incident.

One of the caller?s dogs was still missing at 9:30 a.m. today. Goodman said the pit bulls had attacked the caller?s dogs and the caller had tried to intercede, which is how she got bitten.

For the past several months there have been several reports of dog attacks. Goodman stressed it is the responsibility of the dogs? owners to keep their pets under control.

?By letting your dog loose, you are taking a lot of risks,? Goodman said. ?Also by letting a dog loose, the owner is responsible for medical bills and all expenses. They are responsible for all damages.?

He said there are also new tether ordinances that the Washington City Council recently approved. The new ordinance requires a responsible party to be at the premises where the animal is tethered.

A minimum confinement area for an animal is 100 square feet per dog. The dog has to be in good condition and have food, shelter and water. Goodman also said a dog escaping is the responsibility of the owner.

The Washington Police Department investigates dog bites. People who are attacked should notify the police immediately. If someone is attacked, they should not panic, as this would make the situation worse. The police handle every case very seriously in determining if the dog will be declared vicious. All incidents involving animals are documented so officers will know if there is an ongoing issue. In dealing with animal complaints, officers may give the owner a written warning, a citation, or a civil infraction.

With the civil infraction, officers can order more restrictions, such as quarantining the dog, having it removed from the city, or, in serious cases, ordering the dog to be humanely destroyed.