COVINGTON, Wash. — A Pitbull attack involving two dogs killed two pets in Covington and injured a third.
The animals killed include a Siamese cat and a rescued alpaca. A second alpaca was also hurt.
Now neighbors are upset because they’ve learned the dogs behind the attack are back in the neighborhood, which has them worried.
Animal control, or Regional Animal Services of King County (RASKC), tells KIRO7 they are handling the situation according to law.
The two dogs have been deemed “dangerous”, and the owners were fined $3,100 between the two incidents, and must take other safety precautions.
Still, neighbors are worried the dogs will get loose and attack again.
Breanna Wilder has owned a small herd of about a half-dozen pet alpacas for more than a decade.
“They’re funny, they’ve got cute little personalities,” she said.
But a couple of weeks ago Wilder noticed two loose dogs running around at Jenkins Creek Park, which is right on the other side of her property.
“By the time I got my shoes on, they had already gotten underneath the fence,” she said. Wilder says she had to watch as both dogs attacked the first alpaca, named Rhythm.
“They ran full speed ahead and basically went at Rhythm and bit him right in the face, and that’s where they attacked him until he was dead,” Wilder said. She said in less than two minutes they had moved on to another alpaca, a smaller one named Hershey.
That’s when her husband got home and ran to grab their gun.
“He didn’t have a clear shot, so he shot to where he would scare the dogs,” Wilder said.
Shortly after, animal control responded and captured the two dogs.
Wilder also learned the dogs had also attacked and killed a neighbor’s pet cat.
Miranda Jones says her cat, Bonnie, was loved by all the neighborhood kids and liked to sleep on a heated bed on the front porch.
“She’s a sweet girl, walked me to the mailbox,” Jones said. She was at work when another neighbor called her.
“He told me he looked over in our mutual gravel drive and saw her lying there. And it was quite messy. I said please, I can’t hear details,” Jones said. “I was here at work and I broke down,” she said.
Now Jones and Wilder have learned that the two dogs have been returned to a nearby home after the owners paid a $3,100 fine for both incidents. The fine also includes not having the pets properly registered.
“Everyone is just shocked the dogs are able to return home,” Jones said. “I don’t want something far worse to have to happen before any action is taken. I love animals so euthanasia is not something I take lightly but also I don’t want to fear for myself and my surroundings,” Jones said.
Breanna says she’s worried too, especially for the rest of the herd.
“I’m willing to see if they can get rehomed, somewhere far away from here - if they can get trained properly. From their point of view, it’s their babies and I’m trying to be empathetic with that. But I’m scared,” Wilder said.
Animal control says the owners of the two dogs now classified as “dangerous” also have to do a list of other measures, including:
- Fixing the hole in the fence where the dogs escaped
- Have a requirement for liability insurance for the dog owner
- Animal control officers can inspect the premises at any time
Capt. Tim Anderson with Animal Control said the owners have 24 days to get into compliance.
If there is another incident where the dogs get loose or attack any pets or people, the dogs will be seized. However, there would still be an opportunity for the owners to get the dogs back.
However, if a pet owner is unable or unwilling to get into compliance, the animal may be euthanized.
After an attack where an animal is deemed “dangerous,” if the owner surrenders the pet to animal control that animal would not be re-homed and most likely be euthanized.
As of July 2023, King County no longer relocates dangerous pets out of the county. Anderson said that’s because there was no way to track the animals, and it only moved the problem animal to another neighborhood.
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