Two pit bulls attacked and severely injured a Chow/Sheppard mix named Bubbles in Parkland in December and now the Pierce County Animal Control has made the decision to declared two dogs dangerous animals and cite their owner. The dogs do not show any aggression towards people and its not clear what caused the dog fight to happen. On Jan. 2, 2013 County Auditor Julie Anderson said that her department found that the owner of the pit bulls has a history of animal complaints. These complains include citations for not licensing the two pit bulls in 2011 and there was a complaint filed in December for not treating a skin condition on one of the dogs.
The owner of the pit bulls is Jessica White who stated “This is the first time my dogs have ever done this, my dogs are not people-aggressive at all.” Jessica also agreed to pay for Bubbles medical bills with out hesitation. However, Bubbles owner Debra Stoltenberg became confrontational with Jessica. Anyone who loves their dog understands that Debra would be angry, upset, and experiencing fear that her dog, who still has surgeries to go through, could still loose its life. It is shocking though that should would become confrontational with Jessica when she is willing to pay for everything and taking fault for the attack even though this is not a know behavior of her dogs.
When the attack happened, Jessica had only moved into the home next door to Debra a few days prior. There is a possibility that Debra’s dog may have started the attack as a territorial issue. It seems that Debra is also acting territorial with her treatment of the situation. Why make it worse? Jessica currently has until Jan. 14 to file her appeal before a hearings examiner, comply with restrictions for owning dangerous animals, or give the dogs to the county where they will be put down.
In Pierce County the owners of dogs that are branded as dangerous are required to pay a $500 fee for an annual permit for each dog, keep the dogs in an enclosed pen and have at least $500,000 in liability insurance. Its sad to think that it may not be Jessica’s dogs that are to blame and that they could be taking the blame based on their breed and not the animals that they really are. It leaves you to wonder how Bubbles came in contact with the pit bulls in the first place, or that any of the owners or dogs are truly innocent in this. Even Bubbles is a large dog that is a mix of 2 breeds that at one time or another have also been thought of as being dangerous dogs.
Although the dogs have now been branded as dangerous, that will not help Bubbles with the medical expenses that Jessica had intended to pay for. Debra does stat that “She’s feeling great” but with more procedures in the future Bubbles is not out of the woods yet. Currently Debra has paid over $2,000 in medical bills and is planning to take Jessica to court to recover the costs.
This event is just one of many dog attacks that have happened in our area and in the US. Many of those attacks involved pit bulls and many didn’t involve any dog that we typically think of when we think about dangerous breeds. The real lesson here for everyone is to keep your dogs safe. Keep them leashed when outside, make sure that their enclosures are secure, check your fence lines, and take every step that you need to do to make sure that your dog is both safe from harm and safe from causing harm.