Investigation into dog attack; deemed not vicious - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Investigation into dog attack; deemed not vicious

HARRISBURG, IL (KFVS) -

It's been a difficult couple of weeks for an Eldorado family whose Shih Tzu puppy was attacked and killed by a neighbor's pit bull.

A lot of people have expressed concern over what to do with the pit bull. So, county leaders spoke out earlier Wednesday.

Shawna Mitchell, the owner of the Shih Tzu said she wants to see the dog who killed her puppy put down.

She claimed that not only did the pit bull attack her dog-but bit her 13-year-old son and another woman who tried to break up the attack.

However, that was not the decision Saline County leaders came to Wednesday.

Dr. Clifford Morris, the Saline County Animal Control Administrator reported that the dog isn't vicious for a number of reasons.

His report said that one reason is because both dogs were not on their property or on a leash.

Another reason, according to Illinois law, a dog is deemed vicious if a dog attacks a person without reason resulting in physical injury or death-in this case the dog was attacking another dog.

State law also said that you cannot deem a dog vicious if it was being assaulted.

According to the Eldorado police report- during the attack-one person was kicking the dog and a woman was hitting it on the head with a piece of wood.

"So, if I read a report and somebody tells me that somebody is kicking it and somebody is beating on it and the dog is being assaulted then I have to go by what state law, that's what it states and that's the evidence I got," Morris said. 

Now, an investigation in ongoing to determine if the dog is deemed "dangerous."

If that's the case-the dog would need to be on a leash with a muzzle anytime it is not on the owner's property.

The family said they will consider legal action against the city of Eldorado.

Copyright 2013 KFVS. All rights reserved.

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