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Second dog attack raises citizen concerns about vicious animal ordinance

July 3, 2019
By John Speer - Editor (jspeer@tamatoledonews.com) , Toledo Chronicle, Tama News-Herald

"A child, any person who is attacked viciously by an animal, I think, that something is done a lot sooner- within the time frame (the animal) should go to the humane society... as far as I'm concerned, and I'm a dog owner...it should be put down" was the opening message from Jennifer Edwards to the Toledo City Council on Monday night, June 24.

Her call for action on the city's vicious animal protection and control ordinance came on the heels of an attack documented in Toledo Police records. It was the second time this year the council heard about a dog incident. On March 25 the victim detailed the attack in which a pair of dogs attacked the her dog and herself resulting in the death of her dog and injury to her.

On June 24, Edwards termed the procedure in place "ridiculous" for confining an animal after an attack. State law requires an animal to be confined for 10 days after a bite case. It does not provide, nor does the city ordinance specify a location for keeping the animal.

Article Photos

Jennifer Edwards pleads her case about the Toledo rules for confinement of vicious animals to the Toledo City council on Monday night, June?24. Her reaction came after an attack on her daughter and a neighbor who came to her aid which occurred on June 17 according to a Toledo Police incident report. Chronicle/John?Speer

According to the police report Edwards' 17-year-old daughter and neighbor, Lynn Shepard, who came to the girl's aid, were both injured about 5:30 p.m. on June 17. The incident occurred at the Arrowhead Mobile Home Park on Toledo's southwest side.

The girl had caught the dog which had apparently gotten loose. It was identified as "Pablo," an American bulldog owned by Pedro Gaona and Vanessa Santos.

Upon returning the dog to the porch of it's mobile home it attacked the girl. Shirley Shepard, who lives across the street was outside and alerted her husband. Lynn Shepard attempted to stop the attack. Although he was not present for the council meeting Shepard told The Chronicle he tried using a crowbar to stop the dog. In the action he suffered a puncture wound to one hand and a contusion to the other.

"I was at work when I got there she (her 17-year-old daughter) was laying on the ground - there was blood everywhere," Edwards told the council. The girl was transported by Toledo ambulance to UnityPoint Health - Marshalltown. Shepard was also went there by private car for treatment.

Toledo Police Chief Bob Kendall said he followed the state guidelines and advised the Tama County Department of Health of the circumstances. He said this is the same procedure he was told to follow earlier this year and on other cases.

He said both the Tama County Human Society and office of Rick Cooper DVM, were contacted but both declined to house the dog because it was vicious.

Meanwhile the dog was confined at the owners' residence until June 21 Edwards said.

"I don't care if the owner has to take the dog and live with it in a car in another town," Edwards told the council at one point. Sher said she had four children in her hoem for which she was concerned for their safety.

Edwards said her daughter was traumatized by the event and wouldn't leave the house knowing the dog was across the street. Edwards said and was only moved after the owner of the mobile home park took legal action. She said her daughter was scheduled to enlist in the U.S. Marines Crops in July but the effects of the attack may jeopardize her ability to do so.

Both Gaona and Santos were charged by Toledo Police Sgt. Dan Quigley for keeping a vicious dog.

A hearing on the civil complaint is set for July 12 in Tama County Magistrate Court.

Former City Attorney Mike Marquess, who was present for the meeting on another matter suggested the police department could provide the confinement and the only cost "would be the dog food for 10 days."

Mayor John Lloyd and council members indicated they were sympathetic with the circumstances and injuries but had on immediate solution Monday night. A session concerning the vicious animal ordinance may be set for the future however.

 
 
 

 

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