A dog owner whose pet was identified as “dangerous” by Glynn County Animal Control officials lost an appeal Wednesday to have the designation removed.
The three-person volunteer board vote means the animal must live under restricted conditions that include a secure enclosure to prevent the dog from escaping, clearly visible warning signs posted at all entrances where the dog resides, a microchip containing an identification number and proof of at least $50,000 of general or specific liability insurance.
The vicious designation requires the owner to contact animal control authorities if the dog is loose, unconfined, has attacked a human, been sold or donated to any other person, unless it is sent to be euthanized.
If the dog is taken off the owner’s property, it must be muzzled and restrained by a substantial chain or leash no longer than six feet and is under immediate physical control of a person. It can also be moved in a closed cage or crate.
Owners face a fine of up to $1,000 and/or 60 days in jail for violations. And the dog faces euthanization.
Despite the harsh sanctions, the woman who filed the complaint, Melissa Andon of St. Simons Island, said the owner got off lucky. She said she was attacked on Feb. 6 while walking down an aisleway to her condo.
“It was not a nip,” she said. “The pit bull sunk its teeth into my leg.”
Rather than accept the dangerous dog designation and the restrictions that came with it, Andon said the owner tried to blame her for initiating the attack, saying she spooked her dog.
Andon said the dog attacked a police officer and veterinarian after she was bit in the leg. She is still receiving medical treatment for her injuries from the attack.
“They still let her keep the dog after it attacked three people,” she said. “This is scary if this is how the county handles these situations.”