WAHOO – After emotional testimony from two attack victims, the Wahoo City Council declared two dogs “dangerous” at their Sept. 26 meeting.
The council voted unanimously to declare two dogs owned by Joshua Otte as dangerous. The designation means that if another incident occurs with the dogs, they could be taken away from the owner, said City Attorney Jovan Lausterer. Dangerous dogs must also be microchipped, spayed or neutered and cannot be allowed to run free without a leash or in a fence.
Police Chief Bruce Farrell reported to the council an incident involving Otte’s dogs and a local resident on Aug. 28. Barbara Hart was bitten and scratched on the back of her leg after being pinned by the two dogs while she was out for a walk. A Wahoo police officer responded to the call and also noted the aggressive nature of the dogs in their report.
“It was the most horrifying, horrifying thing I’ve ever experienced,” Hart told the council.
Hart said she was hanging onto a pole “for dear life” before her husband came to rescue her from the aggressive canines.
“I’m scared to this day,” she said.
Hart is also concerned that St. Wenceslaus elementary school is located nearby.
“I just think we live in a community where we can’t have something in our neighborhood this dangerous and near a school,” she said.
Hart did not seek medical attention for the bite, but had to wait for 10 days for the dogs to be cleared by a local veterinarian because they did not have current vaccinations.
Another woman, Siodona Moerker, said she was also attacked by these dogs recently. The male dog leaped at her, baring his teeth, as she swung a broom to fight the dog off. The second dog, a female, was also there, she said.
Moerker ran into a neighbor’s house and the dogs left, but they came back again and Moerker and the neighbor again had to use brooms to protect themselves, she said.
“It’s horrible,” she said. “Have you ever been attacked by a dog, let alone two of them?”
Moerker said the dogs run loose continually “like coyotes.”
“It’s not safe in the neighborhood,” she said.
The dogs were involved in another incident on Sept. 10, Farrell said, when they barked, growled and charged at another local resident. The victim chased the dogs away with a broom before an injury could occur.
Otte was not present at the meeting, and no one spoke on his behalf.
Moerker asked that the dogs be euthanized, but Lauster said the dangerous dog ordinance does not allow for that.
Council Member Greg Kavan made a motion to declare the dogs dangerous, and the council approved the motion unanimously.