DANIA BEACH, FLA. (WSVN) - A mother is demanding change when it comes to the Broward Animal Care and Adoption Center.
This comes after a dog attacked a little girl back in February, and according to the girl’s mom, the same dog also attacked another little boy last year.
On Tuesday, Amanda Chalfant, the mother of the girl, stood before the Broward County Commission to demand answers.
“The attack on my daughter did not need to happen, should not have happened,” said Chalfant. “If animal control had done their jobs it would not have happened.”
It has been just about a month since Chalfant’s 5-year-old was attacked by a neighbor’s dog in Fort Lauderdale, and a nearby surveillance camera captured the harrowing sound.
Tuesday, Hallandale Beach commissioner and shelter management critic Michele Lazarow told county commissioners that the same dog, who has since been euthanized, attacked another child last year and that the shelter was notified.
“The shelter did zero investigation or attempts to locate the adopter, and we know this because there’s not one single note in any of our multiple public records requests documenting any attempt of an investigation,” said Lazarow.
In emails provided to 7News, a shelter official tells the mother of the boy who was attacked that the owner could not be found.
Then, the February attack on the little girl happened. Commissioner Lazarow said shelter director Emily Wood is to blame.
“The shelter director along with the subordinates she hired had a legal obligation to do a thorough investigation or at least an attempted one to label this dog dangerous after bite number one,” said Lazarow.
County commissioner Mark Bogen fought back, as he referred to improvements made to the shelter in the last four years.
“No matter what we did it’s still horrible, the new person is horrible, next person is horrible. At some point you just get numb to it, and it’s hard to react,” said Bogen.
“We did not hire Miss Wood, and we never supported the hiring of Miss Wood,” said Lazarow.
“I do find the mother’s testimony disturbing. I just want to know what occurred here in a private meeting orally, please,” said commissioner Steve Geller.
“Animal control has to follow the law, and they also need to protect humans,” said Chalfant.
Wood told 7News over the phone that she could not go into detail about the first attack on the little boy but could generally tell us:
• If anyone is bitten by a dog (or their minor child), they submit a bite report to Animal Care.
• Depending on the circumstances of the bite, Animal Care will follow up in several ways, including ensuring proper quarantine procedures are followed.
• This follow-up may include an investigation into the incident to declare the dog “aggressive” or “dangerous “
The little girl’s mother said she will now wait to see how the county responds and that her daughter’s recovery is ongoing.
7News has not been able to reach the little boy’s mother.
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