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Article ‘defamed’ dog owner
To the editor:
In response to the article, “Harrodsburg Road boy, 11, mauled by pit bull mix,” in the paper on April 8.
I would like to express disagreement with the validity of the information of the report. I want to express that this article was defamation of character on my father’s behalf. Defamation of an individual is when a false statement is made causing the individual to suffer harm and these damages are usually harmful to the individual’s reputation.
In defense of my father’s reputation, I would like to state that being with him the entirety of the day that this incident occurred, he was not arrested. We were out together attending a wedding for one of our family members and did not return home until after the situation occurred.
The police officer involved with the case returned to our house that night and proceeded to speak with my father for a short period of time and later left the house, no arrest was made. Also, there were no charges brought against him, only a summons for court where, then if any charges are necessary, they will follow through with them at that time. I hope these mistakes are corrected and that my father’s reputation will return to normal and not incur anymore damages.
Editor’s note: Information for the article in question was provided by a news release from the Anderson County Sheriff’s Office and by an interview with the sheriff.
County, city need tougher dog laws
To the editor:
I agree with your editorial last week, which seeks some sort of legislation to resolve the local pit bull situation.
It is a pressing matter here.
I was indeed sad to hear that [Deputy] Matt Rogers was attacked by a pit bull while performing his legal duties as a peace officer. I feel that he had no alternative other than to shoot the animal. He is a friend of mine and in my opinion always handles matters with discretion.
This is not just a city problem. It is also a county problem. The city has a leash law; however, the county has none. Many people allow their dogs to run free in the county park simply because there is no leash law. There are criminal statutes which could nevertheless be used as a means of controlling that problem.
It would seem to me that any dog owner should realize that most dogs will protect his owner and if a strange dog runs too close to that dog’s owner, there will be a problem.
It is possible to argue that an owner who lets his dog run free could perhaps be charged with terroristic threatening or assault if he has knowledge that his dog may run up to another person at full speed.
This has happened numerous time in the county park and I am somewhat fed up with it.
While I agree with the thrust of your editorial, I want to point out a problem about legislation concerning pit bulls. The American Kennel Club does not recognize that breed. In fact to my knowledge no dog club of any significance recognizes that as a breed of dog.
I feel that most anyone would tell you that “pit bull’ has commonly been used to refer to any dog that is part Staffordshire Terrier or American Staffordshire Terrier and some other larger breed of dog (usually a Rottweiler).
The breeder uses the Staffordshire because it has such a huge and powerful jaw. The breeder uses the a larger dog to impart size.
Interestingly enough, the Am Staff usually has one of the best dispositions of all terriers. Consequently, any ordinance which uses the term “pit bull” would probably be constitutionally void for vagueness under the due process clause and therefore unenforceable. In other words, people would have to guess at what combination of dogs would be in violation of the law.
I would suggest that the city’s Board of Council and that county’s Fiscal Court meet with their attorneys in this matter and come up with something that would handle this legal problem. Other than this technicality I would totally agree with nearly everything in your editorial. The wording will be crucial to the legality of the ordinance.
Deputy made right decision to shoot dog
To the editor:
I am sorry to hear that yet another Anderson Countian has been injured by a dog such as a pit bull.
This is a dangerous breed that was bred as a fighting dog. They cannot be completely controlled by people. Sometimes they are unpredictable.
A child or other person often pays the price. For this reason they have been banned in many other countries.
The owner of this dog thought the officer should have used his pepper spray or baton. In a Wikipedia article on pit bulls it is noted that some dogs do not respond to pepper spray. I could certainly see how a baton could just make a pit bull angrier.
Officer Rogers did the right thing to defend himself.