City Looks at Putting Leash on Dangerous Dogs
By: Arnold Wyrick

JOHNSTON CITY, Ill. - After one deadly attack on a pet owner and his mixed rat-terrier and another attack on two EMTs, the Johnston City council members are ready to put a leash on dangerous dogs in their town.
It was just over a year ago when Jim Mills was walking little 'Skippy' around their neighborhood.  They were just a block from home when Mills and Skippy were attacked by a neighbor's pit bull.
"He didn't look too friendly.  So I reached down and picked Skippy up in my arms.  And that dog jumped into the air and took Skippy and me to the ground.  It had my hands and my dog in it's mouth.  And I don't know how I got free, but that dog proceeded to kill my dog right there," said Jim Mills of Johnston City.
Mills horrifying ordeal didn't end there, he ended up having to have multiple surgeries to repair his injured hands and arms.
"I've had to have my little finger on my left hand sewn closed and my ring finger on my right hand was torn all the way off down below the first knuckle, and they reattached that," Mills said.
Now he no longer takes walks around his neighborhood and he no longer wants another dog after losing Skippy.
"Nope, I don't want nothing to do with another dog.  And I'm afraid to walk much farther then my own yard," he said.  "I'm also in full support of the proposed dangerous dog ordinance the city council is considering to enforce."
He's not alone in his support of the proposal, so is the acting fire chief in Johnston City.
"We were called out to a patient who was having a seizure and he became excited when we told him he was going to have to go to the hospital.  Then he got up and went over to a door in the house and let him out and we couldn't even do our jobs.  My two firefighters just backed up towards the door.  And this guy just let his pit bull out to attack us.  None of my guys were bitten, but thank goodness there was a police officer there," said Interim Fire Chief Girolamo Intravaia.
"I think it's a great thing, the ordinance it protects us, it protects everyone else who has to go into a house or yard.  We need the protection because we don't know what we're walking into when we get to most emergency calls," he said.
The Johnston City council will vote on the proposed dangerous dog ordinance Tuesday evening.  If it passes, the measure will go into effect and enforcement will begin in January 2008.