A drastic solution

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

It seems a bit like frontier justice. A dog bit a child's ankle in Pierson on July 7th, resulting in an injury to the seven-year-old child that required stitches. Subsequently, Mayor Max Dunnington shot and killed the dog, which is described as a pit bull mix.

The actions of the mayor seem a bit rash, circumventing due process that would be reasonable in such a situation.

We have more sympathy for the child than for the vicious animal. The best resolution to the situation may well be putting the dog down but there didn't appear to be the urgency that would require such a drastic action.

There are a couple of factors that need stated on behalf of Dunnington. The mayor had previously warned the owner of the dog about the dog's aggressive nature and the dog growled when the mayor approached it.

It still seems a bit extreme for the mayor to use lethal force on the streets of Pierson. He obviously expected that to be the result of approaching an aggressive dog since he was carrying a gun.

Although the animal was a danger to the community, the danger and potential liability to the city of shooting a dog in the street should be a more overriding concern.

Certainly, getting the animal impounded at the owner's expense could be done almost as quickly and allow a more orderly resolution of the matter.