TOPEKA KS - COUNCIL MEMBERS VOTED TO GIVE THE COURT AUTHORITY TO ORDER A DOG DESTROYED FOLLOWING A FIRST OFFENSE OF AN ATTACK CAUSING GREAT BODILY HARM OR DEATH
(WIBW) - The City of Topeka will now have discretion in ordering dogs who cause great harm to be put down, even on a first offense.
Council members voted 8-0 Tuesday night to approve the change. Mayor Larry Wolgast did not have a vote on the ordinance, and council member Karen Hiller was absent.
The vote followed emotional testimony from Amanda Krogman, whose two-year-old daughter, Savannah Edwards, was killed in a dog attack in 2012.
Topeka's Chief Prosecutor Charles Kitt had been working with council members in studying a change. The prior ordinance gave municipal court judges no authority to order a dog destroyed following a first offense of an attack causing great bodily harm or death, but mandated a dog be put down following a second offense. The change council members approved Tuesday gives the court discretion in both instances.
Among those pushing for the change was Malina Rocha. Her six-year-old daughter ArRyhanna suffered severe injuries in February when she was attacked by a neighbor's dog. However, authorities could take no action regarding the animal since it was a first offense.
"On a first offense if a dog causes great bodily harm or death we want the court to have discretion to put the animal down even if it is a first offense,” Kitt told 13 NEWS in September.