Dog Attack on 2-Year-Old Leads to Keystone Action | Vinton Logs
TIMESNEWS – “There has been no removal order given to anyone in Keystone regarding their dogs.”
Those were the words of Benton County Sheriff’s Chief Deputy John Lindaman on Wednesday when asked about recent events involving a pit bull attack on a two-year-old girl on June 18. . That attack — and the circumstances that followed — precipitated a decision by the city of Keystone to fully enforce the city’s ordinance regarding vicious dogs, primarily pit bulls.
“Benton County has an ordinance against vicious dogs, especially pit bulls,” Lindaman said. “But the county ordinance is only in effect in rural areas.
“However, just about every town in the county has a municipal ordinance—at least I don’t know of any that don’t—that roughly matches the county.”
Benton County Vicious Animals Ordinance 37 lists 13 different categories of animals considered “dangerous” including, but not limited to, lions, tigers and bears, badgers, raccoons, monkeys, bats, scorpions and:
“Any dog which has the appearance and characteristics of being of the breed of Staffordshire Terrier, American Pit Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, any other breed commonly known as pit bulls, pit bull dogs or pit bull terriers, or a combination of any of these breeds.
According to the BCSD, the incident on June 18 happened when the two-year-old girl was playing in her own backyard. A Staffordshire Terrier that was left loose attacked her, causing significant head injuries. The dog was captured and taken to a veterinary practice in Belle Plaine.
“Nobody ever claimed the dog,” Lindaman said. “At that point, the city – which has a books ordinance similar to the county – decided to enforce it.”
At that time, the town of Keystone — which contracts with Benton County for law enforcement coverage — asked the BCSD to notify owners known to own the types of dogs in question that they were breaking the ordinance.
“No one was told they only had 10 days to get rid of their dogs,” Lindeman said. “No removal order was issued at the time and so far none since. All that was said was that owners might consider making alternate arrangements for their pets.
Since the incident and the actions of the city, there has been a lot of support in the area to eliminate what are considered “single breed” laws on vicious dogs. But of the many reports the BCSO regularly receives about dog bites/attacks and the number of hundreds of dog breeds, Lindaman said pit bull complaints are the most common.
“I think it’s just around 20%,” he said, “which is by far the most common.”