Dangerous Dogs

Your neighbor’s dogs attack and kill your pet. Nothing happens. Then you watch as they attack and nearly kill your other dog, and you are told nothing can be done. Can dogs be allowed to kill other animals? It’s why one woman called Help Me Howard with Patrick Fraser.

WSVN — A child with Down syndrome is truly special. Fun, loving, a big-hearted treasure.

Yolanda Thompson: “My son loves dogs. He loves animals; We have a chicken, rooster, a parrot, and any animal he sees, he says he want to bring home.”

Kysean loves his animals. It’s their neighbor’s dogs that terrify his parents.

Yolanda Thompson: “Several times he’s tried to attack us.”

A year ago, the neighbor’s two pit bulls dragged one of Yolanda’s dogs under the fence. She found it in the neighbor’s backyard, dead.

Yolanda Thompson: “I complained. The police came because we wanted to get our dog.”

This year, it almost happened again.

Yolanda Thompson: “Two pit bulls grabbed him by the head and got stuck underneath the fence.”

Yolanda’s husband tried to get the dogs to release their animal.

Yolanda Thompson: “My husband took a stick and started hitting him, trying to get him off, and he couldn’t get him off.”

With their dog about to be killed, Yolanda ran inside and got a gun. Her husband shot one of the neighbor’s dogs and they let Yolanda’s dog go.

Yolanda Thompson: “Just think of it: again, another dog. This happened to us again twice now. Twice.”

The neighbor’s injured dog was put to sleep. Yolanda had a $600 vet bill from her animal’s injuries, and the neighbor’s other pit bull is still in their backyard.

Yolanda Thompson: “Prisoner in my own home.”

A prisoner, because they live on a lake, and their neighbors don’t have a fence in the back, letting their dog constantly try to get into Yolanda’s backyard.

Yolanda Thompson: “I want to be able to go to the lake, not worry if the dog’s gonna come and attack me.”

But the owners won’t remove the dog, and Animal Control said they can’t force them. Kysean said he wanted to give the pit bull a black eye for hurting his dog, not understanding what could happen to him.

Yolanda Thompson: “Absolutely, absolutely, cause he doesn’t know the danger of the dog.”

Yolanda’s lawn guy quit mowing the backyard from fear of the dog. And, Yolanda won’t let Kysean play in the yard unless she is watching him.

Yolanda Thompson: “I want that dog out. I don’t want it in the neighborhood at all.”

But legally, Howard, can they force their neighbor to get rid of what they call a dangerous dog?

Howard Finkelstein: “It depends. A dog can be declared dangerous after witnesses see it attack two animals. Then a court can order it to be muzzled. However, if a dog severely injuries just one person, it can be put down.”

When Yolanda’s first dog was killed, Animal Control was not contacted, so the attack on this dog was considered the first incident. But Animal Control did schedule a hearing.

Maria Weinman, Neighbor: “I had to put my dog down because she got shot in the head.”

Maria Weinman said her dog was nice. It’s her son’s dog, Domino, that caused the problems.

Animal Control: “Neither one of those dogs has ever been vaccinated or registered.”

Weinman was issued two citations.

Judge: “We will issue a muzzle order for Domino.”

Patrick Fraser: “Are you going to get rid of Domino?”

Maria Weinman, Neighbor: “Domino is not my dog.”

Patrick Fraser: “Are you going to ask your son to get rid of Domino?”

Maria Weinman, Neighbor: “Domino will be gone today.”

The dangerous dog has not been seen, which is just what the Thompsons wanted.

Kevin Thompson: “The dogs are gonna be gone. I won’t be a prisoner in the backyard anymore and if that’s the result, then we are all good.”

They are happy. Kysean is safe.

Patrick Fraser: “How is your dog doing?”

Kysean: “He’s good.”

Patrick Fraser: “Got that thing off his neck?”

Kysean: “Yeah.”

Now, Howard mentioned a dog can bite two other animals and still be allowed to live with its owner, but if it bites a third animal, it can be put down. Also if a neighbor’s dog bites your animal, make sure you document it. Otherwise, it doesn’t count as a bite.

A “ruff” situation taking a bite out of you? Ready to muzzle it? Contact us. We’ll unleash the legal minds in dogged pursuit of a solution. With this Help Me Howard, I’m Patrick Fraser, 7News.

CONTACT HELP ME HOWARD:

E-mail: helpmehoward@wsvn.com (please include your contact phone number when e-mailing)

Reporter: Patrick Fraser at pfraser@wsvn.com

Miami-Dade: 305-953-WSVN

Broward: 954-761-WSVN

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