Mayor Miller Outlines Plan To Reduce Dangerous Dog Attacks - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

2/13/08

Mayor Miller Outlines Plan To Reduce Dangerous Dog Attacks

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Courtesy: Lubbock Sheriff's Office Courtesy: Lubbock Sheriff's Office

Wednesday Mayor David Miller responds to residents concerns over pit bulls.

This comes one day after a Lubbock Grand Jury handed down the first ever felony indictment for a dog attack.

Tuesday, a grand jury indicted Javance Lamar Johnson.

Authorities say his two pit bulls attacked 77-year-old William Cox last September. The dogs broke his arm, and killed his rat terrier dog. Both pit bulls have since been put to sleep.

If tried and convicted, Johnson could face up to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

In the past week, hundreds of phone calls have poured into the city from residents who would like to see pit bulls banned within the City of Lubbock.

First off, Mayor David Miller wants to be clear that the city cannot ban pit bulls because current state law prohibits cities from banning specific breeds.

Still Mayor Miller says there are several ways he believes the city can reduce dangerous animal attacks.

"I am convinced the animals are not the issue. I am convinced the owners of the animals are the issue," says Mayor Miller.

A reason why Mayor Miller says the city plans to promote responsible pet ownership in an effort to reduce dangerous dog attacks.

"Lubbock is a leash law city meaning that animals are prohibited from running at large," says Mayor Miller.

Plain and simple - no leash - no mercy. If your dog is not on a leash, you will receive a Class C misdemeanor that could result in a $200 fine.

The city also plans to hire a commissioned peace officer to oversee Animal Services field operations.

"Having a law enforcement professional oversee the day to day operations will strengthen our animal control enforcement efforts and provide valuable legal guidance to animal control officers," says Mayor Miller.

Finally Mayor Miller says the city will continue to work with state legislators to strengthen laws related to animal attacks.

"I firmly believe state laws should go beyond misdemeanor offenses when an animal attacks and seriously injures another animal," says Mayor Miller.

Hearts and Hooves volunteer Melanie Tatum says the City of Lubbock is taking steps in the right direction.

Two pit bulls brutally attacked five of the organizations miniature horses, killing one of them. And still two weeks after the attack Hearts and Hooves has suffered yet another set back. One of the miniatures, Jolly, has developed a blood clot and must have his leg amputated.

"Everyday we're thinking things are going to get better and we get a big setback like this. We just want everyone to keep them in their prayers," says Tatum.

"A responsible pet owner should be held criminally and financially responsible for these horrendous attacks," says Mayor Miller.

You can still help out the Hearts and Hooves organization. A fund is set up at Security State Bank.

Mayor Miller also issued a reminder to pet owners Wednesday. As of September 1, 2007 Texas state law holds a dog's owner criminally responsible if the animal attacks a person unprovoked off it's property. If found guilty the owner could face jail time.

2/13/08
Mayor Miller's Statement Concerning Dangerous Dog Situation
In recent days there has been a noticeable increase in Pit Bull attacks in our community. As a result of these vicious attacks, many citizens have contacted the City requesting that Pit Bulls be banned within the City of Lubbock...

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