Dixie Cowan virtually visited the Helper City Council during its monthly meeting on Thursday to discuss the enforcement of leash laws.
Cowan explained that, in September, her sister was attacked by a dog while walking. The owners are still in possession of the dog while Cowan’s sister had to go to the emergency room for stitches. According to Cowan, the dog is still home and aggressive but has not appeared to be loose since then.
She then spoke on another incident with two dogs running loose that killed a resident’s cat in her yard and then proceeded to kill some chickens in another yard.
Cowan’s purpose of visiting was to ask about consequences as the ordinance states that if the dog is vicious, it is not allowed back within city limits. Helper City Mayor Lenise Peterman invited Police Chief Chris Gigliotti to speak on this.
Chief Gigliotti stated that, usually on the first incident, contact is made with the county animal control to catch the dogs. Many times, if the dog is determined sick and that is the reason for the aggression, the shelter will generally have the owners self quarantine. The second time, it is usually at the digression of the shelter.
Chief Gigliotti also explained that he spoke with Ed Chavez of the animal shelter, who stated that the dog that killed the other animals will likely be euthanized. The second dog was not captured though many man hours went into attempting it for quite some time, and Chief Gigliotti said they are unsure of that dog’s owner.
It was also explained by the chief that citations are always issued to the owners in these situations as well. He continued by stating that if it is found to be a major problem, they would certainly increase patrol.
The chief explained to Cowan that now that the incident has been documented, the woman involved would be able to get a copy of the report to proceed civilly. He also said that he would speak with his crew and tell them to make this issue a priority.
With this all in mind, Mayor Peterman encouraged those that are witnessing incidents like this to contact dispatch as they attempt get control of the situation. “We’re taking this seriously,” she stated.