Those were just some of the words that kept ringing through my head yesterday following the administrative hearing to determine the fate of “Demon aka Doc”, the Pit Bull/Great Dane/ Dogo mix that attacked Mindy and three other dogs.I don’t think any of the victims realized that the sole purpose of this hearing was to determine whether this dog should be legally declared Potentially Dangerous. Mind you, it killed a dog and wounded three others so I think it’s safe to say that the dog has surpassed its full potential and IS clearly dangerous. All of the victims had the bleeding wounds and emotional scars to prove it. While time has healed the physical wounds, the mental picture of the attacks are forever etched in their minds. I blame the owner for these acts of violence, not the dog. She knows her dog has issues, yet she is not responsible enough to keep him leashed at all times.
On the day Mindy was attacked the Los Angeles County Animal Control officer who took our report shared a tremendous amount of information with us about the dog’s history as well as the dog owner. I remember mentioning to Gregg that I was surprised at how forthright she was in sharing this information. She told us that criminal charges were going to be filed and they would see to it that this irresponsible dog owner would never be allowed to own another dog again. She even implied that the dog would be put down when I asked. So who can blame us for thinking that the hearing was going to be a judicial process. We were hopeful that “Demon aka Doc” would be permanently removed from her home and out of our neighborhood. Once I received and read through the Notice of Hearing (see photo for how thick the file on this dog is), it became apparent that there was a chance this lady could get her dog back.
During the hearing, my heart broke a thousand times as I listened to the tearful testimony of the owner whose dog Bella died after being attacked by “Demon aka Doc” in March 2011. The anguish she still feels was fully apparent yesterday as she choked out her words. I squirmed as I listened to my neighbor recount his ordeal with his dog Melo and the horror he faced when “Demon aka Doc” charged him and his two dogs, grabbed Melo and ran down the street with him in his mouth. I am sure they were just as troubled to hear me describe the attack on Mindy. We were all in unison in our unsettling stories and our feelings that the dog should not be allowed back in her home.
When the hearing officer said he was ready to render his decision, my stomach did a flip flop in anticipation. He declared the dog Potentially Dangerous and started reading through the long list of restrictions that will be placed on the dog. The other victims and I sat shaking our heads in disbelief. Bella’s owner was crying and being consoled by her mother. We listened as the dog owner was told that if she doesn’t fully comply, she will lose her dog. When she was asked if she understood, she said yes. So now for the million dollar question….can she be a responsible dog owner? Based on her past history and demeanor at the hearing, I say it’s highly doubtful. For our neighborhood’s sake, I hope she proves me wrong. In fact, I challenge her to prove me wrong.
I spent the rest of the day feeling sad, angry, defeated...you name it. When I got home, Mindy greeted me at the door with her customary tornado twist of excitement. I hugged her and said “I’m sorry girl, we tried." The nice thing about Mindy being a dog is she holds no ill will. She was just happy to get her afternoon treat.
I am closing this blog with a message to Bella, Frankie, Melo and of course, my Mindy. We were your voices yesterday in our quest for justice, but our voices fell on deaf ears. We didn’t fail you, the system did.
We can only move forward from here....until next time.