Friday, December 9, 2016

Florida: Neighbors complained to Animal Control about Christina Speicher's pit bulls for months before they jumped two fences, entered neighbor's doggie door and tore their Border Collie and Chihuahua to pieces

FLORIDA -- A Volusia County couple is pushing for tougher laws after their two dogs were attacked and killed by two of their neighbor’s dogs inside their home.

Other neighbors’ complaints months before the attack had already prompted Holly Hill city officials to fine the dogs’ owner after the city determined the pit bulls were dangerous.

Marilyn Grimes said her dogs, Boots and Buck, have helped carry her through some difficult times.

“I had a lot of deaths in my family the last couple of years, and without my dogs, they gave comfort like a person couldn’t,” said Grimes.

But Grimes won’t have that comfort for what she’s dealing with now. She says when her husband came home from work Wednesday, he found both of the couple’s dogs dead.

The tiny body of Buck, their Chihuahua, was found in the backyard. The body of their Border Collie, Boots, was found in the bathroom.


“He noticed the bathroom door was closed, which is strange because it’s in the hallway, and he tried to open up the door and this huge dog jumped out to try to bite him,” said Grimes.

The Grimes’ backyard backs up to their neighbor’s backyard.

They said the two pit bulls that attacked [and mauled their beloved pets to death on their own property] were able to jump over an eight-foot wooden fence before jumping over their shorter fence. Once into their backyard, they said the two dogs were able to squeeze their way into a doggy door in the back of their home.

“Who would ever think to come home from work and see two pit bulls in the bathroom, who had come in through the doggy door,” said Grimes.

Boots the Border Collie, chased, terrorized, attacked
and mauled to death inside his own home by Christina
Speicher's pit bulls; pit bulls Speicher KNEW were vicious

How many calls were made to Animal control about these dogs? What did Animal Control do about the problem? How many times did they actually respond? How many times did they write Speicher citations? After one of the pit bulls bit a neighbor, the dogs were declared dangerous. What did Animal Control do to make sure Speicher was in compliance? Did they inspect her fencing? Did they ensure she did everything she was supposed to do? When the dogs - already declared dangerous - got loose again, what options did Animal Control have? Could they have seized the dogs? Could they have upgraded the classification of the dogs? Did they go and inspect the fence and tell her she couldn't put the dogs out there until it was fixed properly - and re-inspected by them? Or did they just write her a ticket for the dogs running loose and drive away, leaving these vicious to get loose yet again and maul these two beautiful little dogs to death??


Documents released by the Holly Hill Police Department show neighbors had previously called police to complain about the two pit bulls getting into their backyards. 


In September, a neighbor was bitten by one of the dogs and had to get treatment at the hospital.  In early November the city of Holly Hill notified the dogs’ owner, Christina Speicher, the city considered the dogs dangerous.

Boots and Buck, inside their home, which is
supposed to be your sanctuary - your safe place


On November 23, the city notified Speicher they were fining her for not keeping the dogs in a secure area where they couldn’t get out. That safeguard is one of several requirements the city has for dogs it has deemed dangerous.

We tried reaching out to Speicher on Thursday evening, but she wasn’t home and didn’t answer her phone.


“They said something horrific had to happen before they could put those dogs down, so literally my dogs had to die for them to put those dogs down,” said Grimes.

“And I think those laws need to change.”

Grimes said she and her husband don’t even know if they can stay in their home any more because of the horrific way they lost their beloved pets.

“They’re like my rocks, and now I don’t have them anymore,” said Grimes. “Memories are all we have right now, very good memories.”

The dogs involved in the attack are now with the city of Holly Hill. City officials said their owner, Christina Andrea Speicher, released custody and signed euthanasia forms for both animals.


(ABC Action News - Dec 1, 2016)

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