But as the city had no dog control officer contract, nothing could be done.
Even after one of the dogs attacked a man’s labradoodle at the Olean Farmer’s Market the next morning, police
Larry Bryon, the owner of 7-year-old labradoodle named Lily, said his dog required stitches after it was attacked by one of two dogs on Saturday morning in front of the Olean Center Mall.
“She’s like a grandkid to me,” Bryon said, petting his dog’s clipped white coat on Monday.
Several Oleanders reported to the Olean Times Herald that calls had been placed to police on Friday evening about the dogs being loose in the Oak Hill neighborhood, with police unable to call the SPCA to catch the dogs and find the owners as the contract ran out the day before.
“The dogs were only picked up because we did it without obligation — they were tied to a tree and the police couldn’t do anything,” said Jenn Panepinto, shelter manager for the SPCA in Cattaraugus County.
Had the city been able to call the SPCA on Friday, Bryon said Lily would still have the square patch of missing fur on her back, no stitches and would be her normal, friendly self.
“She hasn’t been the same since,” he said, adding his dog has been skittish since the incident, but he hopes Lily will recover shortly.
“The first time, I kicked at the dogs and they went away,” he said. “This time, they came out of nowhere.”
Visitors at the farmer’s market helped Bryon separate the dogs, witnesses said.
“One guy took the dog I was beating off and put a rope around its neck,” Bryon said, adding the second stray was caught a bit later and both were tied to a tree to await pickup by authorities.
Thanks to a local SPCA in Cattaraugus County volunteer, the dogs were taken off the streets and will now be checked out to ascertain their conditions and see if animal abuse charges are warranted against the still-unknown owner.
What exactly motivated the incident is unknown.
Jenn Panepinto, who manages the SPCA shelter north of Olean, said the dogs do not appear to be aggressive toward people, but the female — which Bryon said was the one attacking Lily — appears to be aggressive toward other dogs.
“They have lots of issues,” she said. “They’re both missing hair — I don’t know if it's mange … they don’t look very well maintained — they’re in rough shape.”
The dogs will have their skin conditions checked by a veterinary technician to see if the issues are related to illness, parasites or other problems. The animals did not appear to be underweight, but it’s believed the female recently whelped a litter of puppies.
And if after assessment the animals are believed to have been subject to neglect, the owner could be charged with cruelty to animals, a class A misdemeanor. The owner would possibly be liable under the city’s dog control code, which was updated in 2015 and specifies that anyone whose dog runs at large could face a fine.
Bryon said the attack was probably more likely a result of bad upbringing and desperation on the part of the wandering dogs, and not because of their breed.
“I do not despise pit bulls — I love pit bulls,” Bryon said, adding he would not mind owning one himself in the future. “The only way these dogs are like this is because of the idiots who raise them — these ones are raised by trash.”
Carter said she fought to live. Her arms were covered with puncture holes and tears from where the dogs had bitten her. A chunk of her left leg near her shin was missing. Her right leg below the knee was exposed down to the bone. The flesh was missing.
"I remember looking up at one point and two of them were fighting over a piece of my flesh, and I was just relieved that they weren't on me," Carter said.
Doctors told her she would die if they did not amputate her right leg from below the knee.
Bryon came forward to the Times Herald in hope that a new contract would be put in place, making sure the city retains dog control services. City officials will discuss a new contract today in a special Common Council meeting.
Bryon was pleased to hear of the meeting, but said he will still be prepared when walking his dog.
“I’m going to be carrying a club with me,” he said, adding if he had to make the terrible choice between the life of his own dog or a loose dog attacking Lily, the self-professed dog lover sadly remarked he will choose his own pet.
(Olean Times Herald - June 6, 2017)