A dog owner in Chubbuck has to make some tough choices after his dog was declared vicious. The decision stems from a dog attack on March 16 that left one 3-year-old girl with bite wounds to the leg and face wounds deep enough to cause damage to her gums.
While her injuries are not life-threatening, Chubbuck Police Patrol Lt. Bill Guiberson said she, along with the six other children with her at the time of the attack are very shaken up.
The pit bull/terrier mix named Angel has been in the Chubbuck Animal Control Facility since the attack. Guiberson said it's not often the city needs to deal with vicious animal situations.
"In the city of Chubbuck we have very few of these vicious dog hearings," Guiberson said. "In talking to one of the animal control supervisors we probably have one or two a year."
Right now there are four options for the owner of the dog. First, he can appeal the decision within five business days, and that will involve bringing a petition to the sixth district judge in Bannock County.
Secondly, he could move the dog out of the Chubbuck city limits, only if the Bannock County sheriff signs the approval, and the owner provides the information of where the dog is going.
Thirdly, the owner can keep the dog in Chubbuck, but with some very strict rules. He would need to construct a kennel for the dog, completely enclosed, with a shelter that has a floor and ceiling. He will also need to display signs on the property warning there is a vicious dog on the premises.
The owner will also have to have his Social Security number tattooed on the dog's upper inner lip, inside ear or inside rear thigh. He would also need to get liability insurance on the dog for no less than $500,000.
All of this comes with the full knowledge if the dog is ever found to be wandering at large, police officers have the right to immediately euthanize the dog. Destroying the dog is also the fourth option.
The incident happened just after a group of kids left the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints building on the corner of Chubbuck and Hawthorne roads. The group of kids were in the middle of the sidewalk of the next-door house when the dog left the owner's property and bit a 3-year-old girl on the face and leg.
"The dog wasn't contained by a fence and was not secured on a leash," Guiberson said.
Guiberson added while this type of incident is rare in Chubbuck, it is a strong reminder to all pet owners.
"Be a responsible pet owner," he said. "You're responsible for your pets when they're on and off your property."
Chubbuck City Code declares an animal control officer or the chief of police can declare if a dog is vicious, meaning it is on a case-by-case basis.
Attempts to contact the dog's owner were unsuccessful, and the family has obtained an attorney and will not be speaking about the incident.