Hobart woman to seek stricter vicious dog regulations after pit bull attack

2012-06-18T19:30:00Z 2012-06-20T20:24:04Z Hobart woman to seek stricter vicious dog regulations after pit bull attackBy Deborah Laverty deborah.laverty@nwi.com, (219) 762-1397, ext. 2223 nwitimes.com

HOBART | City official Sherryl Doerr and her daughter will go before the City Council this week to ask for more bite in existing dog ordinances.

"I'd like to see a pit bull ban or some kind of ordinance that is more stringent than the one on the books right now," Doerr said.

Doerr, who works as an assistant to the director of development and educator for the municipal stormwater and sewer systems, said she'll attend the 6 p.m. Wednesday meeting in her capacity as a resident and not an official.

Doerr said she's singling out pit bulls because her daughter, Melissa Blake, of Hobart, watched helplessly a few months ago as her pet dog was attacked and viciously killed by a pit bull in the backyard.

Since that attack, her daughter has witnessed two other incidents of pit bulls attacking other dogs, including once when she was pushing her young child in a stroller.

"She (Melissa) was hysterical," Doerr said.

Although one city councilwoman has pushed to single out certain dangerous breeds such as pit bulls, the existing city dog ordinance doesn't allow police to do so, Police Chief Jeff White said.

Fines of up to $2,500 for the first violation and up to $7,500 for the second violation are in place in the ordinance, but they apply to all breeds involved in attacks against other dogs or people.

City Councilwoman Monica Wiley, D-at large, unsuccessfully led the attempt a few years ago to tighten the existing ordinance.

Wiley suggested dangerous dogs be identified with iridescent tags and owners pay fees that could fund bonds to protect dog bite victims.

Both Blake and Doerr said they'd  like to see tougher laws and enforcement of those laws.

"Next time, instead of a dog getting attacked it could be a child," Doerr said.

The pit bull that killed Blake's dog was picked up by Hobart Humane Society officials. It was deemed hazardous and euthanized at the request of owners Linda and Charles Anderson, humane society office manager Connie Hollar said.

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