North Dakota city officials review vicious dog ordinance
MANDAN (AP) — Officials in North Dakota are studying dog laws following an attack that left a 7-year-old girl with a broken leg and hundreds of stitches.
Faith Geiger was attacked by two pit bulls in Mandan last week, The Bismarck Tribune reported. The girl’s father, Wes Geiger, said Faith is currently confined to a wheelchair.
“She’s got a pretty good attitude for the extent of her injuries,” he said.
The dogs’ owner, Antoinette Fleck, was charged Friday with violating the city’s vicious dog ordinance. Fleck’s attorney, Thomas Glass, didn’t respond to the newspaper’s request for comment.
Mandan’s ordinance bans vicious dogs, which are defined as an animal that attacks without provocation or has a vicious or terrorizing manner.
City officials are now reviewing the ordinance to find ways to prevent future attacks.
“(Dog attacks are) not a frequent thing, but if it does happen, it’s very devastating,” said Commissioner Dennis Rohr. “You should be able to walk publicly and not be attacked by a dog, period. The key is, it’s our responsibility to ensure that level of public safety.”
Rohr has been researching dog attack statistics and other cities’ ordinances.
“There’s different ordinances you can have: proactive ones and reactive ones,” he said.
Rohr said Mandan’s ordinance is reactive. He said the ordinance should be changed to include additional restrictions, such as requirements for restraining dogs and owner responsibilities.
City commissioners are expected to discuss the vicious dog issue at its Aug. 7 meeting.