A local community is planning to take action after a dog attacked and killed another dog on a walk with its owner last week.
Tuesday night’s city council meeting grew very emotional as Leslie Spears recounted the last three times she has lost pets to dog attacks since she moved to the Village. She wants to see the city do more, but some say she and other citizens need to also play their part to make a difference.
With a city council full of dog owners, Leslie Spears’s words were taken with empathy as she pleaded for change. “It’s the third time and I’m just numb,” she tells News 9.
As she walked her Papillon Albert last week, she says a neighbor’s dog escaped two fences to reach them. Spears carries a sharpened golf club to fend off vicious animals after her previous encounters, but in the moment she was only focused on pulling Albert from the dogs jaws.
She says, “I wish I would’ve kicked the dog or something but you never know what you’re going to do in a panic situation, plus I was so taken aback and it happened in seconds.”
The Village’s leaders are proud to have one of the strictest animal codes in the area. After asking her neighbors for feedback though, Spears suggests training on how to respond to an attack.
At the meeting one neighbor spoke up, saying, “Should I carry a gun? I don’t want to do that. I just want to protect my little animal.”
Locals are also calling for increased liability for owners of both animals and rental properties. Mayor Sonny Wilkinson agrees, but says concerned citizens have to follow through by signing the complaint for a vicious dog and showing up in court.
“I understand some people don’t want to confront their neighbors,” he says, “but if there’s a vicious dog involved, they’re really not doing that just for themselves. They’re doing it for the community.”
Despite losing her dog, Spears still hesitated to sign the complaint. “It was lonely,” she remarks. “It was angry, and we’ve always suspected it and just felt that if we were calling in, we’d be like a nosy neighbor.”
She is planning to sign it now, though.
Police chief Paul Kinman believes if more people did so, the code would not need to be changed. He says, “We have enough in there. We just have to have people step up, sign the complaints and take due process.”
City council did not vote on any changes on Tuesday. They will meet again to decide on potential amendments in the coming month.