CALIFORNIA -- To the Editor:
I recently had a terrible experience with two Pit Bulls entering my home and attacking the family cat.
After doing some research, I found that this is a common experience, not necessarily entering the home, but accessing the property through some means. I also discovered that there is minimum consequence to the owners of the dogs.
Prior to the attack on my cat, several days earlier these same dogs broke through the owner's fence and seriously attacked the neighbor's small dog.
Interestingly, it appears that there are no concerns that the property is near Yokayo Elementary School, where many children play, and a lot of people bring their pets to play ball, etc. It seems that it takes a human getting bit, and all too many of these are children under the age of 10, before there are consequences to the pet owner.
I wonder how many lives would be spared, or how many children would be protected from a vicious mauling, if something more serious resulted from a dog's first offense, regardless if it was "just the family pet?"
I filed a formal complaint with the police department, and although they were sympathetic, the only consequence to the owner was a "serious warning."
Currently, there are no laws in California to protect people from having vicious dogs entering their home, property, or killing the family pet (the owners may get a citation for allowing their dogs to be off leash).
My only recourse is to warn the people in my neighborhood; many have small pets, as well as small children who frequently play out in their yards.
Deborah Briggs, Ukiah
(Ukiah Daily Journal - July 14, 2013)