Pit bull who mauled child had previous bite history - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

Pit bull who mauled child had previous bite history

Sadie was not considered a 'dangerous dog' in 2012 Sadie was not considered a 'dangerous dog' in 2012
LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) -

On Wednesday, 7-year-old Randa Westbrook was sent to the ICU after being mauled by a pit bull.

And now we learn that the dog who mauled her, Sadie, had bitten a person back in Sept. 2012 and been released by animal control.

But if Sadie had a previous record of biting people, why was she free to do it again in 2013? Animal control tells us a dog doesn't necessarily have to be euthanized after it bites.

We turned to City of Lubbock representative Jeff McKito for an answer. He said when a dog attacks someone, the animal is taken into quarantine. The city tests the dog for rabies over a period of 10 days.

During that time, the person who was bitten can file a Dangerous Dog Affidavit. The City must hold a Dangerous Animal Hearing within 20 days of the filing.

If the person bitten doesn't file an affidavit, the city has the option to file after investigating the circumstances surrounding the incident. If severe injuries are involved, the city can initiate a Dangerous Animal Hearing on its own.

The dog's owner can appear in court and present testimony as to why they believe the animal is not dangerous. The injured person, or in a case where the city filed, a city representative, will explain why they believe the animal is dangerous.

A hearing officer will decide if the dog is a threat based on the information presented. If the officer determines the animal is not dangerous, it is returned to the owner after they pay holding fees.

If a dog is declared dangerous, the hearing officer can choose from one of three options: it can be euthanized, they can return the dog but ban it from city limits or it can be returned to the owner. If the dog is returned to its owner, they have to comply with a long list of requirements.

"The hearing officer is the one who makes the decision. The owner then has 15 days to comply with that decision - assuming it's a euthanization. The owner does have an option: if they don't agree with the decision, they can file an appeal," McKito said.

Those requirements include registering the dog with the city, insuring the animal for no less than $250,000, and keeping the animal caged and restrained, wearing a fluorescent yellow collar. Signs must also be posted, warning people about the dangerous animal.

If they do not comply within 15 days, the city will euthanize the animal.

So why wasn't Sadie declared a dangerous dog back in 2012?

Animal services officers tell us Sadie was not considered a dangerous dog because the attack occurred on the owner's property.

The city ordinance states:

"No animal shall be declared a dangerous animal if the threat, injury, or damaged caused by the animal was the result of a willful trespass upon another's property."

The worker who was attacked says he wasn't aware a complaint needed to be filed against the animal, so nothing was ever done.

After Wednesday's attack, Sadie's owners have given their consent to have her put down.

RELATED STORIES:

7-year-old girl in ICU after pit bull attack

Randa Westbrook out of ICU, recovering after dog attack

Copyright 2013 KCBD. All rights reserved.

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