LETTER: Pit Bull Victim’s Husband Rips Into City About Animal Control
Yet another article concerning Burien’s animal control.
Reading this from an intern made me sick:
“Dr. Kasper has euthanized many healthy dogs due to requiring additional space for her boarding dogs. These dogs were great dogs and very healthy. They have paid the ultimate price due to the horrible management of the animal control services taking place at Companion Animal Medical Center”
But yet Burien deems a dog “dangerous” and then releases it ??? WOW!
BURIEN what gives you the RIGHT? to take a “dangerous dog” that caused serious injury and disfigurement to someone in your community, and release it into someone else’s community !!! Don’t tell me it’s the law. Burien had the option well within the law to euthanize a vicious, uncontrollable, aggressive, “dangerous dog” that was harmful to the community.After deeming the dog “dangerous” Burien decided to return it back to the owners, with an order to remove the dog from the city after violating city code. Was this dog dangerous, aggressive, vicious, or uncontrollable? There was a hearing held at Burien’s city hall Sept. 21st, 2010 where the owners of the dog appealed the decision to remove the dog from the city for violating city code, in which Burien upheld their decision to release the dog and ban it from the city. Here is a quote from Leslie Kasper (Buriens lame Animal control authority) referring to the dog at the hearing. “We were not able to move him between kennels or cages without being on a catch pole which is a long ridged pole used for animal control” Another quote from Chris Ingalls reporter from KING 5 news after the same hearing. “Animal control here in Burien says because of the viciousness of the attack and the aggressive nature of the animal it declared this dog dangerous in the eyes of the law” James Lynch of Fox news reports, “It’s probably some of the worst injuries that I have ever seen in a pitbull attack. “KOMO News Commentator Ken Schram,”What the heck are they thinking” “The owner of the pit bull was told to get the dog out of the city.”"What the hell is the sense of that?” “Sending a dangerous dog off to be some other city’s problem is an asinine and stupid policy.” Jeanette’s Attorney, Chris Davis after the hearing.” The city is simply avoiding it’s responsibility to the public at large by allowing the dog to be shipped off to another jurisdiction and letting that jurisdiction deal with a potentially lethal animal.”
A blog posting from one of the first two EMTs to respond to the scene. Kman says: ” I was one of the 2 first EMTs on scene to render aid to this patient. This dog was extremely aggressive and we were very concerned about our and the patient’s continued safety with this animal within striking distance. This poor woman will be disfigured for life and someone actually wants to keep this dog alive? Nurture or nature, folks it doesn’t matter…if a human had done this they would be locked up for aggravated assault and quite possibly attempted murder (doing 10+ in Walla Walla). Burien, pull your head out! Human Beings are lives, animals (especially vicious ones), are property. Protect your citizens and destroy a hazard that can cause further tragedy!!! ” End of EMTs statement.
A blog posting from a neighbor next-door to the owners of the dog. JD says: “This story is about the ridiculousness of Burien’s animal control law. This dog should be put down because it is dangerous and will harm another person if given the opportunity. I know the dog, the owners and I’ve met Jeanette. It’s all around a very bad situation. This dog was left outside day and night with little human interaction. It would bark for hours for no apparent reason and just prior to the attack it was sick or injured and acting strangely. I know this because I lived next to the dog. Go ahead blame Kiko, the breed or the owners but it’s not going to improve Jeanette’s situation. The city council needs to recognize that Burien has released a dangerous dog to another community where it can attack another human. This is ridiculous and wrong; all of us citizens will pay the price when the city is sued for a ton of money the next time Kiko attacks.” End of neighbors statement.
Before the incident on July 24th, 2010 involving Jeanette Cunningham,this dog had all ready bit two neighbors. One of the neighbors is (Buriens lame Animal control authority) Leslie Kasper’s aunt that was bit. So even though there were no formal complaints, she knew of this incident, besides the dog jumping up and nipping her in the arm the night she went to seize the dog from the owners.(as she stated in the hearing)
This removal order requires proof of both, the violation (which is obvious) and the appropriateness of the remedy animal control has imposed (which is irresponsible and WRONG). This removal order does not take any measures to prevent future neglect, abuse, animal care, or owner control. These dog owners do not believe their dog to be dangerous, or the owners to be neglectful. So the perception is that these animal care and control laws are for ‘other’ dogs, problem dogs, but not their dog.Burien’s dangerous dog laws, and animal care and control laws are a feel-good attempt to show the community that the authorities are taking action. Animal care and control laws are intentionally ‘ vague’ and ‘ interpretive ‘ by animal control authorities. Thus the facts of alleged animal care and control , is rarely ‘ pure ‘, and are a personal (opinion) ‘ interpretation ‘ of the animal control authority. In fact , many animal care and control city ordinances are flawed and may be considered unconstitutional for failure to provide victims notice and hearing before or after the release of an uncontrollable biting or vicious dog. However most cities do not release an uncontrollable or vicious dog that has caused serious injury and disfigurement to someone. Jeanette thought she was going to bleed to death before she could get medical attention that night. What has to happen to a person besides their face being permanently disfigured and scared for life, does someone have to die? before Burien determines that a vicious animal in violation does not belong in anyone’s community. Jeanette believes she took that bite so that she might have saved a child’s life, and part of the emotional healing is knowing that that dog can not hurt or possibly kill any other human being. She is having a tough time healing her emotional scars knowing that this dog has been set free. Every city and state should have a “dangerous dog” law that provides sufficient protection to the community. Burien’s city council members remind me of a bunch of 7th graders giving themselves an award before the community has even tested their new policies. Except for council member Lucy Krakowiak the only one on the council that has common sense.
For those readers that are not familiar with Jeanette Cunningham’s incident. On July 24th, 2010 at 8:55pm Jeanette Cunningham was the victim of an unprovoked attack by a pitbull mix on a public street in Burien.The dog was off of the owners property after leaving the property through an open gate while the owners were not home.After the attack, a 9-11 emergency call was made, medical aid arrived at the scene, but Burien police did not respond to the scene, Burien animal control did not respond to the scene. About 9:30pm Jeanette arrived at the trauma center at Harborview Hospital. I arrived at the same time the ambulance got there,as soon as I saw my wife covered in blood from her face to her feet I knew this was serious. She was in a state of shock, she pulled the gauze away from her face and said ” my lip is gone.” With her mouth closed you could see her bottom teeth, her gums, and part of her jaw. This was a life changing incident and I did everything I could to calm her until they could admit her. Once she was admitted, sometime after that Burien animal control was called to go seize the dog. Leslie Kasper( Burien’s lame Animal control authority) arrived at the dog owners home at the same time the owners of the dog arrived home, 11:36pm. The owners were not willing to give up the dog, so she called the King County Sheriff’s office for assistance, they arrived at 11:45pm and cleared the mess up at 12:05 am. Before police arrived Leslie Kasper was standing at the fence trying to convince the dog owners to give up the dog, and the dog jumped up at her and nipped her in the arm. Even after police responded to assist Leslie with help seizing the dog, police did not file an incident report concerning the initial incident. Meanwhile Jeanette was sitting there suffering in a trauma situation waiting for Burien’s Animal control to call the hospital back concerning rabies before they could proceed with surgery, 2 1/2 – 3 hrs waiting in trauma. So just realize that if you are ever attacked by a vicious dog in Burien be sure to make three 9-11 emergency calls,one for medical aid, one for Burien police assistance, and one for Buriens lame animal control assistance.
The city of burien’s bizarre “dangerous dog”decision is ridiculous and completely irresponsible. I want the city of Burien to know that they are the blame for putting my wife through emotional distress because of the horrible polices the city council has adopted. Burien’s city council voted not to join the new Regional Animal Services of King County. Instead they have patched together a makeshift system that let them release a “dangerous dog” into another community where it can attack another innocent human being. This is ridiculous and WRONG. Putting a “dangerous dog” in someone else’s city is not sound business or law. My wife can not begin to heal her emotional wounds knowing that the city of Burien has put someones life in danger by allowing a “dangerous dog” to be relocated in another city. That’s another scar the city of Burien has added to my wife’s emotional state of mind besides the physical and emotional scars she has from being attacked by a”dangerous dog.”The city of Burien should focus on creating laws that protect society. People who suffer from emotional distress suffer real losses…. Burien’s dangerous dog ordinance needs to be amended SOON ! Call Burien’s city council and let them know it’s time to amend Ordinance No. 543….. PLEASE.
PS. I don’t need to blame the owners or the breed. I just realize that most of the negative comments will come from people that have not had someone they love for life permanently disfigured by a vicious dog. It’s about having the right to penalize the vicious dog and the owners instead of setting the dog free with no requirements regarding owner responsibilities other than to remove it from the city of Burien, and having someone else experience their loved one being scared and disfigured for life.So say all you want about poor dogs or bad owners, this article has very little to do with the breed and everything to do with vicious dogs that attack unprovoked.
Oh by the way, congratulations on your Schrammie award for your idiotic policies Burien.
- Walter Cunningham