YUCCA VALLEY, SAN BERNARDINO COUNTY CA - WILL THE OWNERS BEHIND DEADLY DOG ATTACKS EVER BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE?
By Mary Ellen DeCremer Yucca Valley
In November of 2013, we adopted a little dog from the town animal shelter. We named her Foxy. She had been adopted two times and returned before she found her forever home with us. Foxy and my husband immediately bonded on their long walks together twice a day, total six miles. She loved to greet the neighbors and they loved her gentle, sweet nature.
On Thursday, Aug. 8, at 5 p.m. my husband and Foxy, who weighed just 24 pounds, were attacked on Skyline Ranch Road by TWO PIT BULLS. The dogs came out of an open gate at the first residence west of the old junk yard. They crossed over behind my husband to the south side of Skyline and began their surprise unprovoked, deadly attack on Foxy. My husband tried desperately to hold her up in the air but the two pits were able to pull them both down to the ground. The dogs were not phased by his attempts to fight them off.
Poor little Foxy was so viciously attacked that she could not even be stitched up as not enough of her belly skin was left; her hind leg was pulled apart from her body; she was covered with bite wounds; even her beautiful green and gold eyes were bruised and bloody. After two days of pain and suffering, she lost the fight and had to be put down.
I share the details of her injuries at the risk of exciting and encouraging these pit bulls’ owner, but I want people to know how dangerous these trained killers can be.
If our neighbor had not happened to drive up on the scene at the moment she did and been brave enough to jump out and help my exhausted husband and Foxy get in her car, I believe we not only would have lost our dog, but my husband would have been more severely bitten or killed too.
We appreciate the quick response from our town animal control officer, Jessica Maggiora, who was professional, informative and sympathetic. She spoke with the pit bulls’ owner and removed the dogs into a 10-day quarantine at the shelter. Several outcomes are possible, including the pit bulls’ return to their owner.
When we asked the sheriff to come out and make a report also, he was reluctant, calling what happened to my husband a “dog bite” to be handled by animal control, but agreed to copy the original report written by Jessica.
The sheriff said we are allowed to arm ourselves if we have all the proper gun and carry permits. Without permits, we would be arrested for killing the attacking dog or dogs if not on our property. For the children who walk this same path to their bus stop twice daily; the young families walking their babies; and the seniors walking their older pets, the gun and carry permit thing may not be a desirable or financially viable option.
The problem with these dogs and others in the paper recently are the owners. Even if these killing machines are destroyed, the person responsible for making them this way will just go out and get new ones. These are not pets, they are used by their owners to feel more powerful than they actually are. They are cowards.
When will the owners be held accountable for what they have created? If a child is killed or maimed by one of these dogs, are there any consequences at all for the owner or is it just another “dog bite”?
Our Town Council members have determined that marijuana dispensaries are not to be tolerated here. Can’t we come together as a community and decide that vicious dog owners are not welcome here either? Why not pass a law requiring the owner to at least, AT LEAST, be responsible for the expenses incurred by the victims of their dogs’ attacks?