Washington City residents reach out for community help after multiple vicious dog attacks

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ST. GEORGE — A Washington City woman is turning to friends and family after officials refused to take action against a vicious dog that allegedly attacked a young man and another dog.

In a statement posted to Facebook, Monica Brown-Owens recounted how a neighborhood dog crossed onto her property to attack a man who was taking out the trash. At another time, she said, the dog attacked and injured her son’s dog, Bandit.

Prior to these instances, the dog had even attempted to attack Brown-Owens’ mother.

Brown-Owens said her biggest concern has been the lack of action taken by the city. The owner has, in the past, been cited for allowing the dog to run around the neighborhood unsupervised and off leash. The dog goes out of its way to attack and maim people and other animals, she said.

Wounds on Bandit’s neck after an attack by a vicious dog in the neighborhood, Washington, Utah, Nov. 16, 2019 | Photo courtesy of Monica Brown-Owens, St. George News

On Nov. 16, Brown-Owens called Washington City Police after the dog allegedly left its owner’s property to attack the man and run after her — this after weeks of the dog charging at her mother when she would go out to get the mail. Officials allegedly told Brown-Owens nothing could be done because animal control teams do not work on the weekends.

Brown-Owens called the animal control offices to leave a message about the incident, but her calls were never returned.

Not long after, on Nov. 22, the dog attacked her son’s dog, Bandit, and ripped a hole in the border collie’s neck. She contacted Washington City officials who retrieved the dog, but less than 24 hours later, the dog was returned to its owner.

Washington City Police Lt. Kory Klotz told St. George News animals cannot be seized from their owners without a judge’s order. If a dog has participated in vicious behavior and attacked or bit someone, the city mandates a 10-day quarantine for the animal.

Wounds on the man’s shoulder after an attack by a vicious dog in the neighborhood, Washington, Utah, Nov. 16, 2019 | Photo courtesy of Monica Brown-Owens, St. George News

The quarantine can be done at the local shelter or at the owner’s residence, but in order to complete the mandate at home, the owner is required to fill out paperwork and abide by certain regulations.

“In order for us to take a dog, we have to show that the dog has in fact been vicious, is a problem,” Klotz said. “Then we can take that order to the judge and the judge will sign an abatement order to take the dog and place it in a different facility.”

If the quarantine is not followed, once animal control is contacted, they will investigate the alleged incidents and issue citations if necessary. Officials can also go to the judge with the violation and obtain an abatement order.

More than anything, Brown-Owens said she wants the owner and the dog to be held accountable.

“It goes for the kill not the warn at all,” she said in a statement posted to Facebook. “If a human did to Dakota and Bandit what that dog did, it would be aggravated assault and animal cruelty.”

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2019, all rights reserved.

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