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GF family emphasize importance of leash laws after fatal dog bite

Tiny the dog
Tiny the dog(KVLY)
Published: Oct. 12, 2020 at 4:28 PM CDT
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FARGO, N.D. (Valley News Live) - A Grand Forks family is speaking out after they say their dog was killed by another dog off its leash. It happened in the 1600 block of N. 5th street last Friday evening.

“She was just the cuddliest little thing. She used to just snuggle with you, and if you were warm she would just love it and lay there. The next thing you know, she’s gone, she’s cold and you’re never going to see her again,” Mya Patridge said.

It all happened so fast.

“They looked and she starts convulsing. They picked her up and she took her last breath within 30 seconds of the bite,” Patridge said.

Patridge says her mom’s six-year-old Miniature Pinscher Chihuahua, Tiny, was laying in the sun outside their apartment when the neighbor’s Pit Bull struck and snapped Tiny’s spine.

“(The dog) was just coming around with her owners around there. She circled over there to Tiny quick and it was just one quick little bite,” Patridge said.

Patridge says the Pit Bull’s owners have been talked to in the past about keeping their dog on a leash at all times outdoors.

“When we first moved in, we tried to get them introduced and (the Pit Bull) was aggressive right from the start and it didn’t work out,” Patridge said.

Patridge emphasizes though, this isn’t a Pit Bull issue.

“It’s an owner error. If would have took 30 seconds to put a leash on that dog, then our dog wouldn’t be gone and that other dog wouldn’t have to be at the humane society and be euthanized for its actions,” she said.

Grand Forks Police Lt. Derik Zimmel says the incident is still an open investigation. He says since 2019 the department has only responded to four animal bite calls and says the consequences are on a case by case basis.

“There may be a citation issued, the dog may be impounded depending on shot records that are available,” Zimmel said.

If a citation is issued, Zimmel says it will then be up to a judge if the animal will be deemed dangerous or not. He says owners of dangerous animal only have three options: move out of city limits, put the animal down or put in place new safety measures to remain living in town

“At some point if that fails, let’s say they choose the third option and something within that set up fails and another aggressive bite happens, they may not be given that option for that second bite. But again, it’s difficult to say that with certainty, because facts change,” Zimmel said.

Both Zimmel and Patridge emphasize the importance of keeping your dog on a leash not only for the safety of others, but for you and your pet as well.

“We want to ensure the safety of all, both animals that maybe attack people, as well as animals that may be confused about surroundings. We don’t want them to be inclined to act inappropriately and potentially cause a tragic situation,” Zimmel said.

In Grand Forks, a pet owner’s first leash law violation is a citation around $30, while the second offense is a mandatory court hearing.

Copyright 2020 KVLY. All rights reserved.

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