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McPhersonSentinel - McPherson, KS
  • City considers changes after pet killed by loose dog

  • Cindy Kinnamon was taking a jog with her dog Celtic on Aug. 23 like she does on most days.
    Celtic, a dachshund and spaniel mix, weighing about 20 pounds, has been in the family for about five years.
    Without warning, the two were approached by two pit bulls, which came running from their home about two and half blocks away.
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  • Cindy Kinnamon was taking a jog with her dog Celtic on Aug. 23 like she does on most days.
    Celtic, a dachshund and spaniel mix, weighing about 20 pounds, has been in the family for about five years.
    Without warning, the two were approached by two pit bulls, which came running from their home about two and half blocks away.
    The two dogs sniffed Celtic, but suddenly ran back to their home in the area of Oak and Skancke.
    Kinnamon and Celtic continued on their jog. She had encounter unfamiliar dogs on her jogs before without incident.
    Suddenly the two pit bulls returned. The brown pit bull began nipping at Celtic. Celtic turned to bark at the larger dog. Then the dog attacked.
    Kinnamon kicked the pit bulls, but the brown pit bull had a hold of Celtic and would not let go.
    “Yes, I was afraid. They could have turned on me, but I couldn’t do nothing. That was my dog,” Kinnamon said, tears welling in her eyes.
    A passerby in a car saw what was happening and stopped. The pit bulls ran.
    The passerby helped Kinnamon get Celtic to the vet, but it was too late. The pit bull had punctured Celtic’s heart or lung. The dog was dead.
    Almost a month after the incident, Kinnamon is still shaken by the violence of the incident.
    The two dogs in question were quarantined. The nonaggressive dog was allowed to return to the owner with provisions for better housing.
    The brown pit bull that killed Celtic is to be euthanized under a court order unless the owner appeals by the end of today.
    Because of the attack and complaints of other residents about dogs running at large, the city of McPherson is studying its instance of dog attack and citations. Once this study is completed, city officials will consider if any of the animal control ordinances need to be amended.
    Presently city ordinance requires all dogs to be confined in fenced areas or on leashes.
    Mayor Tom Brown responded to criticism of the city’s ordinances during a commission meeting Aug. 26.
    From Oct. 1, 2012, through Aug. 20, McPherson had 203 reports of dogs running at large. Thirty-four were cited. Fifty-five were impounded. Seventy-one were returned to the owner with a warning, and 42 couldn’t be followed up as the dog reported could not be found.
    Out of dog bite cases, 12 were referred to animal control, with two of these occurring in the owners’ yards and one occurring at a veterinarian’s office.
    Two of those bites happened within a week of each other in July. Both cases involved 8-year-old boys who were bitten severely enough to require medical treatment.
    Page 2 of 2 - At the same meeting, the city’s animal control officer resigned. Brown said he was an animal lover but no longer wished to endure the emotional upheaval associated with the position.
    Brown said he could not comment on the current case involving the dogs that attacked Kinnamon’s Celtic as the court case is still ongoing.
    Rocky Phillips, the pit bulls’ owner, was unable to be reached as of press time.
    Kinnamon said she has talked to the mayor and suggested several reforms, including requiring higher fees, training or stricter housing rules for breeds that have histories of being aggressive.
    She said she did not favor a breed specific ban.
    “Dogs are like people,” she said. “They all have different personalities based on the how they are raised.”
    Brown noted few cities are supporting breed specific laws at this time.
    He acknowledged this was an emotional time for Kinnamon and other dog owners. Brown said he did not know how long the city will need to gather its data, but he said all parties will be asked to give input when the city commission takes up the issue.
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