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Commissioners Hear Neighbor’s Concerns of Pit Bull Running on Timber Lane

October 5, 2010
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10/06/10 A couple of residents from the Forest Hills subdivision approached the Marshall County Commissioners during their meeting Monday concerning a vicious dog running at large.

Gary West told the commissioners that on Sunday, September 19th about 3 p.m. the neighbor’s dog was running loose and he called the Sheriff’s Department to report the situation.  He was told that the dog catcher (humane society) was in South Bend.

Three hours later the neighborhoods dog was still running loose and scared a teenage visitor as he was leaving the West’s home.  He explained that a pit bull charged the young man and he was forced to jump on the hood of a car to avoid a confrontation with the dog.  Mr. West attempted to chase the dog away but was unable to do so, so  he went into the house and grabbed an aluminum baseball bat.  He had to take several swings directly hitting the dog before the animal fell over.  West said, “I was afraid I killed the dog, but before he could get in the house to call the police the dog ran home.” 

Three County police officers were dispatched to the scene along with someone from the Marshall County Humane Society.  West said the dog charged the officers and three different times they pulled their weapons but didn’t shoot.  The dog catcher told them they couldn’t get the dog while it was out in the open.

The owner of the pit bull is not living at the 11th Road address so the dog is chained to a tree and a caretaker comes once a day to feed and water the animal. 

Mr. West said, “This is not an isolated incident.   We are not the only people having issues with aggressive animals, it happens all over.”  He did say that they experienced another issue with the dog getting loose on Sunday, October 3rd.  

The other neighbor who attended the commissioners meeting said she has two small children who would not be able to run away from the dog.  She said, “Trained professionals didn’t shoot the dog.  I need a method to deal with this situation.”  She also had great concern that the animal was allowed to remain at the 11508 11th Road property.

The Timber Lane residents wanted the commissioners to impose a vicious animal ordinance.   County Attorney Jim Clevenger said the county enacted an ordinance in 1993 that allows for individual owners to be charged with a class B misdemeanor. 

Since County Commissioner Tom Chamberlin will be the new Sheriff in 2011 he will meet with the prosecutor, humane society and county attorney to review the current ordinance and determine if there is a need for more robust ordinance.

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3 Responses to “ Commissioners Hear Neighbor’s Concerns of Pit Bull Running on Timber Lane ”

  1. LJ on October 6, 2010 at 4:54 pm

    Owners need to be responsible for their pets. Just as parents need to watch their children. I have a fenced in yard, not only to keep my pets safe but to keep neighborhood children out!The Humane Society does an excellent job of controlling loose dogs in our town. I am sure the Humane Society has restrictions as to what measures may be taken with respect to each case. NO dog should EVER be tied to tree and feed once a day. Dogs should also not be allowed to roam free, whether in the country or city. Dogs must be under complete control of the owner at all times. This would eliminate any type of confrontation or serious problems. The owner of this dog should be held accountable for the actions of this dog or relinquish ownership .

  2. Moose741Jim on October 6, 2010 at 10:06 am

    I don’t think more laws need to be put in place just more education.

  3. CommonCents on October 6, 2010 at 5:52 am

    Let’s not wait until someone is injured by this animal. If I were a parent and that dog came anywhere near my family it would not be a problem ever again. The Humane Society should have removed the dog, left a notice for the property owner and if in a reasonable amount of time the owner did not claim the dog they should put the dog down. We pay a lot of money in taxes to have a Sheriff Department and Humane Society, as a taxpayer I would have expected them to do something. And waiting until 2011 would not be an answer I could accept.