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Subscriber Comments for
Animal Control Laws

Comments in order of when they were received | (reverse order)

 COMMENT 374344P helpful negative off topic

2013-02-14 11:39 AM

Jeez, what a horrific story! My heart goes out to the poor pup! Unfortunately, dogs are treated only as "personal property"as far as the law goes. So, there is probably no recourse against the bitting dog's owner for the medical bills (if any). HOWEVER, it sounds like the dog was illegally off-leash. This in itself would be a citeable offense. Did your photos show the dog off-leash where it was prohibited? If so, hopefully you got the license plate # as the jerk drove off. You might be able to at least get a citation issued for that.

I'd even go so far as to post your photos of the dog and it's owner here so us law-abiding and caring dog owners know who to avoid. Not sure if you can, but its worth a try.


 COMMENT 374345P helpful negative off topic

2013-02-14 11:40 AM

Very interesting read Elaine, thank you for writing. I do think it would be very difficult to charge/cite dog owners for dog vs dog attacks as it's kind of their nature in some way.

However, I am absolutely fed up with the jerk dog owners around here who take zero responsibility for their pet. How hard is it to say sorry and pull their dog away. They are the ones giving the dog and those breeds a bad name.


 COMMENT 374346 helpful negative off topic

2013-02-14 11:42 AM

post the guys pics, no law against that either. Help us avoid the ####


 COMMENT 374347 helpful negative off topic

2013-02-14 11:44 AM

Well based on what happened a few weeks ago it seems that all you have to do it shoot the dog and claim you thought it was wild...You're off free and clear and the rabid and wild dog is dead and the owner helpless...


 COMMENT 374349 helpful negative off topic

2013-02-14 11:46 AM

I agree with you, the laws and priorities regarding animals in this area are abysmal. The city and county had all the time in the world to prepare reports and set up committees and attend meetings when they were looking to enact spay/neuter laws. I see them patrolling in their trucks all the time, why aren't the officers available to attend actual problems? For awhile, they were going DOOR-TO-DOOR! checking for unlicensed animals.
A number of years ago, had a dog attacked in a similar manner on the Mission lawn, the owner too laughed it off, claiming his dog had done no harm. But in fact, my dog became dog aggressive, and I could no longer take her around other dogs. I recently had another jerk with his unleashed dog at the Daily Grind, go after my dog, and only by kicking it was I able to get it to back off. He, and the business manager, did nothing. The owner again laughed it off. It seems to be the 20-something guys ... GRRR!
I rarely take my dog to "doggie places" like Hendry's and the Wilcox anymore, and am considering carrying pepper spray.


 COMMENT 374351 helpful negative off topic

2013-02-14 11:47 AM

Our dog (on-leash as required by law) was attacked by an off leash uncontrollable dog. Our dog ultimately killed the off-leash dog. The owners of the dead dog threatened us but after speaking with Animal Control they were found to be the liable party. Thankfully level heads prevailed and there was never a civil suit over the matter. The flagrant thumbing the nose at leash laws in SB is ridiculous. I see it all over the place and more often than not the owners of the illegally off-leash dog are rude and even combative. We are so lucky to have so many great legally off-leash areas it makes me sick the resident's here feel so entitled that the leash laws do not apply to them endangering their dog as well as other dogs.


 COMMENT 374355 helpful negative off topic

2013-02-14 11:54 AM

i wonder what would have happend if you had sprayed pepper spray on that dog ???


 COMMENT 374358 helpful negative off topic

2013-02-14 11:55 AM

Seconded 346. Post the pics, OP.


 COMMENT 374344P helpful negative off topic

2013-02-14 11:57 AM

355 - most likely BOTH dogs (and possibly owner) would have been sprayed. Pepper spray is not an efficient tool in situations like this because it is so indiscriminate.


 COMMENT 374360 helpful negative off topic

2013-02-14 11:59 AM

I have seen several dog vs dog attacks and the most important thing is to keep yourself safe. Google Leerburg "How to break up a dog fight" I always carry pepper spray and would gladly spray my dog and the other dog to stop a fight!


 COMMENT 374361 helpful negative off topic

2013-02-14 12:05 PM

Elaine - First, If law enforcement had to do an investigation every time a dog got into a fight with another dog they would have no time for anything else. Second, while reading your story I could not help but notice some inconsistencies like "He continued to laugh and got in his car. As he grew increasingly hostile and verbally abusive". "Even as he drove off, he laughed and yelled, "I used to be a park ranger, it's not big deal." How can a person who is leaving be hostile, how can a person who is laughing be verbally abusive? If you were provoking him even though he was doing nothing illegal maybe you were the one being hostile.


 COMMENT 374364 helpful negative off topic

2013-02-14 12:14 PM

My personal experiences with SB's Animal Control is that they are unresponsive and do absolutely nothing. Again, this is just my personal experience.


 COMMENT 374371 helpful negative off topic

2013-02-14 12:27 PM

its a dog eat dog world, get used to it OP


 COMMENT 374373 helpful negative off topic

2013-02-14 12:30 PM

Dear heavens, what a terrible event. I too have a LOT of issues with Animal Control, police, etc and trying to get help for injured or abandoned animals that I've tried to assist. It is such a stinking mess and very aggravating when you're only trying to help an animal yet the services in this town are abysmal.


 COMMENT 374374 helpful negative off topic

2013-02-14 12:35 PM

I have a small service dog who was attacked unprovoked by an off leash German Shepherd. The owner tried to deny the dog was his. It is against the penal code if your dog attacks a service dog. My dog lost her spleen and a third of her intestine. It cost $6,000.

Plus she was upset after the attack and bit my hands which became infected despite immediate antibiotic by mouth and I had to be on 5 days of IV antibiotic.

The police responded (Sunday, Animal Control is off) . The DA pressed charges against the owner and he plead guilty to two counts and was ordered to pay back the $6,000.

Had my dog just been a pet, my only option would have been civil court.

Thank goodness the dog you saw on the beach was not injured, but it is traumatic for dog and owner to be assaulted like that. That man has an aggressive dog and is not controlling it or using a leash. That is not fair to others.


 COMMENT 374376 helpful negative off topic

2013-02-14 12:49 PM

i take my dog to hendrys all the time.....you need to put up the picture of that guy and his dog stat.

you can't tell that story and not put his picture up.


 COMMENT 374378 helpful negative off topic

2013-02-14 12:56 PM

I agree with you that there should be laws regarding dog vs dog
including assisting removing the dog and reporting and exchanging info. if not reported how can history of vicious attacks be noted and acted upon. Shame on this guy for being such an irresponsible dog owner.


 COMMENT 374382 helpful negative off topic

2013-02-14 01:09 PM

Op. How can I contact you to see if this is the same dog ? My dog and I were also viciously attacked at Hendry's Tuesday in the back lot . I called 911 2 times. Animal control came 40 min later. See Craigs listing today under pets. I have car license # and can get pics of dogs. Owner left scene before animal control got there. Animal control will not help me.


 COMMENT 374384P helpful negative off topic

2013-02-14 01:10 PM

Well. at least we know why that sociopath "used to be" a park ranger.


 COMMENT 374385 helpful negative off topic

2013-02-14 01:13 PM

I raised my dog pretty much from birth - he even went to that training thing where the lady shows him how to behave etc. He's an awesome dog but he is a crap starting alpha male. He is really sweet with me around our property but oh...take him out on a walk and he wants to throw down with every dog out there. So I keep him leashed and take him to areas where there are a minimum of other dogs cruising around. It has helped. I could not live with myself if he hurt another dog or human.


 COMMENT 374389 helpful negative off topic

2013-02-14 01:24 PM

Maybe just a pipe dream?.... a petition to the city council with as many signatures as possible might help. I think most Edhatters would sign it. I know I would.

This all too common problem needs proper resolution.


 COMMENT 374392 helpful negative off topic

2013-02-14 01:25 PM

Well, if you want to cover your six, you run into the restaurant and get some napkins and warm water in a to go cup and help the poor dog whose pain you caused. Something. Do you really want to go around screwing up your kharma? Your luck just got worse.


 COMMENT 374405 helpful negative off topic

2013-02-14 01:51 PM

read an account of an attack in the classified section, sounds like different dogs


 COMMENT 374408P helpful negative off topic

2013-02-14 01:57 PM

This was some time ago but I took my cat for a walk in her enclosed stroller in a residential area where it was attacked by a large unleashed dog. I used the choke chain on the dog and my left knee to wrestle the dog away but my cat lost a couple of lives and control of her intestinal contents. Honestly, I thought he was going to chew right through the 600 denier nylon or at least collapse the stroller.

I see irresponsible people inflicting their dogs upon others all the time, in Santa Barbara. I walked past one vehicle in a parking lot on the way to my own car when a dog lunged through the open window (all the way down) and barely missed my face.

One more anecdote: there's a lady that I've seen around the downtown area that walks multiple dogs but when she's waiting to cross at a corner, the dogs are not on the curb but actually in the street. I don't understand. How can one not see what a danger that is to animals completely reliant upon humans to keep them safe. I hope she doesn't do dog-walking as a means of income.


 COMMENT 374409 helpful negative off topic

2013-02-14 02:01 PM

What's up with animal control not enforcing its own rule of licensing? In order for a dog to be licensed (mandatory) an owner must have proof of current rabies. The license is to be worn on the dog's collar. Seems that's a law and should be enforced.


 COMMENT 374410 helpful negative off topic

2013-02-14 02:01 PM

Animal Control is lying to you. If they want to get involved, they do without any previous incidents or provocation. But in this situation, it was obviously much easier for them to pretend there was "nothing they could do". I've gotten the same response from SBPD when reporting crimes. Some people call it "selective enforcement", I call it "laziness".


 COMMENT 374412 helpful negative off topic

2013-02-14 02:10 PM

Post the pictures on Edhat !!!! Out the guy !!!


 COMMENT 374355 helpful negative off topic

2013-02-14 02:12 PM

this happens alot around lake los caneros also....dogs are always off leash there !!! if you say anything, then you are the bad guy ???


 COMMENT 374371 helpful negative off topic

2013-02-14 02:23 PM

I have a better idea, why dont all you dog owners keep your dogs at home so I dont have to be bothered by them at the beach


 COMMENT 374428 helpful negative off topic

2013-02-14 02:27 PM

408P, why on earth would you do that?


 COMMENT 374440P helpful negative off topic

2013-02-14 02:45 PM

Need to be prepared for such an event and carry a knife attached to a long stick. Or pepper spray, or boots with spike tips, and kick the bad dog.


 COMMENT 374344P helpful negative off topic

2013-02-14 02:49 PM

440P - I think your terrifying violence is misplaced. You don't stab or maim a dog simply for being a dog (albeit not well-trained). It is 100% the owner's responsibility. Would you kick a child with spiked boots because he/she was rough housing on the playground with your kid? You deal with the parent.

Jeez, someone get a leash on this one....


 COMMENT 374447 helpful negative off topic

2013-02-14 02:57 PM

There is a reason I wear steel tow boots when I walk my dog. Steel toes will get an agreessive dog to back off quicker than about anything....


 COMMENT 374470P helpful negative off topic

2013-02-14 03:17 PM

Years ago, my dog was attacked by a vicious dog at Hendry's. The much bigger dog just came running across the beach and attacked my dog. My reaction was to kick the attacking dog very hard. That stopped the fight, but the owner got mad at me. I might have killed that dog with my kick. I would have regretted that, but would still have kicked the dog if I had it to do over again. It still makes me mad thinking about it.


 COMMENT 374490 helpful negative off topic

2013-02-14 03:39 PM

It is so sad that one of the most enjoyable pleasures, walking your dog on the beach or in a neighborhood, has turned into something we have to fear.

I am sure many people who have had a bad experience have given up taking their dog to the beach. Seems to be the way things are going in SB. Where are all these uncivil people who lack common courtesy coming from, it never used to be this way in SB.

Maybe we need to have leash laws for the beaches and provide a doggy park for the big dogs to socialize and take out their aggression on each other. Elings Park would be the perfect place.


 COMMENT 374582P helpful negative off topic

2013-02-14 07:01 PM

Agree with the sentiments about Animal Control. My husband and another neighbor were charged and bitten by a neighborhood dog. Each incident required stitches and antibiotics. Each time we called Animal Control. The first time AC told us we had to "see the dog outside without a leash." I saw him the next day and called AC. They drove out, found the dog and...did nothing but return him to the owner. Could it be because she was a young, attractive blond? I have zero respect for AC.


 COMMENT 374592P helpful negative off topic

2013-02-14 07:48 PM

Thank you for writing this and I, too, hope you'll post a photo or at the very least give a clear description of the dog and the owner! I don't go that often to Hendrys with my small dog, always on leash, but would like to be forewarned. (I've stopped going to Tabano Hollow because of one owner's dog that is allowed to attack and knock down others.)

The only way there may be changes is if people write to the SB City Council demanding that the city Animal Control, a part of the SBPD, be a valued part of the SBPD, not, as now, an often ignored stepchild. It's wrong that its not available on weekends when most people have the time to walk their dogs.

Cam Sanchez has shown clearly that he responds only when there is political pressure. He gives monthly reports to the SB City Council. It could be helpful to have people there at that time, making a presentation at the public comment about the need for a more effective Animal Control and enforcement of the off leash requirements.

How can we put together a group willing/able to do something; any ideas?


 COMMENT 374598P helpful negative off topic

2013-02-14 08:31 PM

First of all- the City has to have 24/7 animal control. It is ludicrous that they do not have at least weekend coverage- so many of the issues that i see on the streets and in the parks in re dogs happen on the weekend.


 COMMENT 374603P helpful negative off topic

2013-02-14 09:35 PM

OP here. Thanks everyone for mostly very constructive, receptive comments. I know how frustrating and contentious any issue relating to our dogs and their owners is, so I understand even the frustration behind the crude comments that were deleted.
But in order to find our way to improved animal policies, laws and services for everyones' well-being, we have to engage in a civil, constructive dialogue. I hope I contributed to that. I will be thinking about how to continue moving the discussion forward, and maybe working to promote improved laws.
As far as posting pictures of the offending dog owner, I am reluctant to do that in case there is eventually legal action against him. Also, I am a bit afraid of him, and don't want him to retaliate since he would recognize me. It was pretty obvious he does not play by the rules.
And I am sorry for the typos in my piece!! I did not have a proofreader.


 COMMENT 374612P helpful negative off topic

2013-02-15 02:37 AM

This was clearly a dog attack. However, I have witnessed personally many incidents wherein people who know little about dog behavior will label play or dominance as being "an attack." I once had a woman tell me her dog was "attacked" when all the other dog did was to lay its foreleg over the top of her dog!

Many, many dog owners end up in the ER as a result of attempting to break up a dog fight. I am really happy that this particular incident resulted in no human injury. There is no question that the "laughing" dog owner should be sued to cover any vet exam or care needed for the bitten dog. Too bad the owner's (of victimized dog) pain and suffering won't be factored in.

I highly doubt that this male dog owner would have been so cavalier if the victimized dog had had a male owner. Men, I have noticed, are often terrible bullies and tend to discount/disregard women in such situations.

What goes around, comes around. This bad owner will not have a happy life, as, obviously, he is working hard to be inconsiderate, uncaring and deserving of his bad karma.

As a dog owner for over 50 years, I extend many apologies on behalf of those of us who work hard to keep our dogs obedient and well-behaved. What a shame this man's bad behavior reflects on us all.


 COMMENT 374660P helpful negative off topic

2013-02-15 09:07 AM

Post the pictures.citizen justice. There doesn't need to be "laws" to make people be responsible and caring, but this person should be publicly chastised and people should be warned of his dog.


 COMMENT 374712 helpful negative off topic

2013-02-15 11:34 AM

This story makes my blood boil. I don't own dogs, though I do love them and would have one if I could.

I think, after reading this account, that as a dog owner, one should take a defensive stance when taking one's dog out and carry a big walking stick and pepper spray for the (hopeful) prevention of/defense against this kind of thing. Geez, this is really sad. Human thugs roam the streets downtown and canine thugs roam the beaches and trails. It's a sad commentary on the state of civilization.


 DEE D helpful negative off topic

2013-02-15 01:55 PM

My only comment is that some years ago a similar incident happened to us. Our dog, and elderly female, was ripped open down her shoulder about 6". We had to take her to the 24/7 vet over by then-Longs on upper State and have her stitched. She had to have tubes to drain the wounds, and take antibiotics. The owner of the unleashed dog literally ran off with his dog, refusing to respond to my husband's shouts for help - he was too occupied with our dog to pursue, and he never saw the man and his dog, a large shepherd type, again. We were stunned by the event, and in time, we recovered. We still take our little dog to Hendry's and Wilcox, and let her run around. I am occasionally made nervous by a large, free-roaming dog, but still go to those places myself. I was also severely bitten as a child, by a chained guard dog I foolishly (being very young) pet. I don't know what the moral of these stories is. I am glad we have dog parks. Maybe: Please be responsible, people. Remember the Golden Rule.


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