BEDFORD - JUNE 28, 2023 - In an hour-long hearing held on Wednesday afternoon the Bedford Animal Control board ruled that a dog was considered a dangerous animal, however the dog will be returned to the dog owner.
The city ordinance under 91:34 under Dangerous Animals the animal was considered dangerous, however because the situation did not meet all the requirements to have the dog removed from the property owner, or to be euthanized the dog was returned to the dog owner.
In addition, the animal was not considered to present a threat to risk injury or death to any person.
By ordinance the animal control commission may impose upon the owner of a dangerous animal any one or more of the following requirements that it seems sufficient to prevent the risk of injury to any person. However, divisions 5, 6, and 11 below or any one of them, may only be imposed where there is sufficient evidence the animal has attacked or is a serious threat to attack a person without reasonable provocation. The animal shall be impounded at the owner's expense until the owner has complied with all the directives imposed by the animal control commission. If after, seven days of the date of the Commission's order, the owner refuses to comply with the directives of the Commission, the animal may be humanely euthanized pursuant to the rules and regulations of the animal shelter where the animal is impounded, without notice or further action by the Commission.
In this case divisions 5, 6 and 11 did not apply in this case.
On June 24, 2023, Bedford Police and animal control was called to the 2100 block of Norton Lane after a dog attacked and killed a cat.
The pit-bull breed of dog went under a gazebo and the cat was found to be deceased after the attack. The property owner Camyha New stated during the hearing that her small children let the dog out of the home when the incident occurred.
Bedford Animal Control officer Cliff Tipton stated that this was the second time the property owner was warned about her dog running loose. New is the owner of two other dogs, as well as she also owns cats.
Debbie Stailey with the White River Humane Society testified that the WRHS conducted a SAFER test to determine whether the animal was safe around other dogs and cats. Stailey asserted the dog was around other dogs and cats, after the dog was around other dogs and cats at the shelter and interacted well with the other animals.
However, Stailey encouraged the dog owner, New to surrender her dog to the shelter so it could be re-homed to a more responsible pet owner. " The White River Humane Society has been very successful in re-homing other animals," said Stailey.
The neighbors who wanted the Animal Control Commission to have the animals removed from the property owner or euthanized was concerned about their children and grandchildren being injured by the dog.
At this time, New has incurred $150 in fees assessed by the White River Humane Society and due to no staff available at the White River Humane Society New will incur more fees and the dog will have to be Spayed at Pets Alive in Bloomington.
The fines imposed include $50 for the first day, and $10 a day thereafter.
After hearing testimony given by Bedford Animal Control Officer Cliff Tipton, Debbie Stailey, White River Humane Society, neighbors who filed the complaint, and Camyha New.
The commission deliberated approximately 30 minutes before presenting the following requirements imposed by the commission.
Camysha Desiree New is herby affirmed, the owner is hereby directed as follows:
Indoors, when not alone, the animal must be under the control of a person 18 years of age or older
When outdoors the animal must be kept under control of a person at least 18 years of age at all times and kept on a leash, the length of which shall be in accordance with state law ( 6ft)
Neuter or spay the animal at the owner's expense, unless medically contraindicated
If the above conditions ordered by the commission, subject to judicial review are not complied with, the owner shall be subject to a fine of not more than $2,500
If further incident of attack occurs under such circumstances that the dog is determined to be a dangerous animal, the commission, subject to judicial review, may impose, or re-impose any applicable directives listed above; additionally, the animal may be ordered humanely euthanized.
New must notify each community town or city animal control board of this order. New plans on moving the animal to the Town of Oolitic.
After the hearing New made the final comments to the Lawrence County Zephyr.
" This hearing went as it should, I would say make sure your pets remain on your property, and maintained on your property. I am very relieved this is over for me. The White River Humane Society has worked well with me," said New.
The City of Bedford wants to make sure that no pets are running loose and all pet owners are responsible for their pets.
Today's hearing is very rare, however, the complainants wanted to make sure action was taken by the city and make sure they were heard on the matter.