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Dog dispute

City council votes to remove dog from city limits

Published: Thursday, Dec. 6, 2012 11:30 a.m. CST • Updated: Monday, Dec. 10, 2012 11:35 a.m. CST

During a heated Creston city council meeting Tuesday, the fate of a dog was decided.

Buddy, a lab mix, pictured right, was adopted from the city pound by Eddie Davis of Cromwell on Oct. 20, but returned eight days later after the dog allegedly bit Davis’ 12-year-old daughter in the face.

Because of the incident, city council voted Tuesday to place the dog up for adoption and the new owner must live outside Creston city limits.

“He’s a nice dog,” said Councilman Loyal Winborn. “I want to give people a chance to redeem themselves, but I don’t want to assume liability for the city and be sued.”

In a phone interview, Davis described the attack.

“My daughter was lying on one side of the love seat and Buddy was lying on the other side,” said Davis. “My daughter sat up to pet him and that’s when the dog just bit her.”

However, Mycale Downing, director of Creston Animal Rescue Effort, does not see Buddy as a dangerous dog.

Downing showed a video to council members and described the video for the attendees in an attempt to prove Buddy is not a dangerous dog.

“The video is demonstrating some of the things that a person can do to a dog that could provoke him to bite,” said Downing, “As you can see, the entire time interacting with him, his tail is wagging. He is relaxed. There’s one short moment where I grabbed his ear and he winced. Otherwise, I blew in his face, I lifted his lips, I pinched his feet, I patted him really hard. Toward the end I stole the food out of his dish while he was eating.”

Downing claimed Buddy is a kind, loving dog. While she acknowledged that Buddy did bite the child, she does not believe Buddy to be a threat or dangerous.

“Common sense says that you never ever put your face near a dogs face,” said Downing. “I just feel that something happened that day that this girl somehow provoked, in dog’s world...I don’t know because they won’t call me back.”

“And keep in mind, these girls have only been around this dog for 12 hours,” said Downing.

Mayor Warren Woods brought attention to the fact the dog did bite the child.

A police dispatch report from Oct. 27 was presented as evidence of the dog bite.

“And does it say how severely? Does it say I had to have stitches?” asked Downing.

“It doesn’t make a difference,” said Woods.

“It makes a huge difference,” said Downing, “Because your ordinance describes a dangerous dog as one that attacks unprovoked.”

At-large council woman Nancy Loudon pointed out the liability the city would face and the possible lawsuit for unknown damages if the city knowingly allowed the dog to be adapted to a new home and bit another person.

“I understand all that, but that is why I am here,” said Downing. “Because I don’t believe this dog will just randomly bite somebody.”

Buddy, formerly known as ‘Drift’ by his original owners Eddie and Maria Medina, escaped from home and was picked up by Creston city pound on Aug. 22. The animal was claimed by the Medina family only to escape less than two months later. It was after his second escape the city pound adopted Buddy out to Davis.

“I have three young children and Drift (Buddy) has never harmed my children,” said Maria Medina, during a phone interview.

Medina was out of state visiting relatives when her dog escaped. Her husband, managing the day to day of work and caring for their three young children did not attempt to search for the dog.

“My husband said, ‘I just figured he’d come back.’ Buddy would always go outside and come back,” said Medina. “I figured that was the case.”

The fees prevented the Medina’s from reclaiming their dog.

“I thought, certainly it’s going to be a lot more expensive than the first time,” said Medina. “’If I come back to claim him, I won’t be able to afford it even if I am able to try.”

After listening to Downing’s plea, Councilwoman Marsha Wilson made the motion to allow Buddy to go back to his original family and allow Mycale to help buddy get neutered.

“The dog catcher says the dog is not dangerous, Mycale says the dog is not dangerous,” said Wilson. “We have had dangerous dogs up here. Buddy is not a dangerous dog.”

Davis stated that he did not return any calls from Downing because he trusted the city would make the right decision as to what to do with the dog.

“I just had to do what any parent would do,” explained Davis. “The dog bit my daughter and I can’t have that.”

“Do I think he deserves to die?” asked Davis. “Yes, yes I do.

Davis said that while he does not think Buddy is an aggressive dog, he could not allow the dog to potentially harm another person and supports the council’s decision.

After the ruling, it was understood by Downing that she had 72 hours to find a suitable home for Buddy outside the city limits or face the possibility of being euthanized.

In other city business the council:

• Approved request from Terian Inc. to place a six-foot tall chain link fence with three strands of barbed wire at 102 West Union Street.

• Scheduled a public hearing for 6 p.m. Dec. 16 for sale of real state located at 505 N. Elm St. to Kate Guiter for $68,000.

• Approved amendment #3 to real estate offer to extend closing to on or before Jan. 31 for 505 N. Elm St.

• Approved annual Urban Renewal report.

•Approved payment of $1,182.22 to Habitat for Humanity for the neighborhood stabilization project at 801 W. Jefferson St.

•Chief Paul Ver Meer announced a conditional offer to Brian Maitlen.

•Approved to authorize the Mayor to sign Certificate of Title for Creston Municipal Airport as required by the FAA.

•Approved the first reading of an ordinance amendment for provisions pertaining to adoption of the 2011 national electric code.

•Approved the first reading of an ordinance amendment for provisions pertaining to licensing of electrical contractors.

• Approved the first reading of an ordinance amendment for provisions pertaining to adoption of the 2012 international mechanical code and the 2012 uniform plumbing code.

•Approved the first reading of an ordinance amendment for provisions pertaining to licensing of plumbing and mechanical contractors.

•Approved the first reading of an ordinance amendment for provisions pertaining to adoption of the 2012 international building code and the 2012 international residential code.

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