This letter is written with great concern about an incident involving a friend of mine and her beloved chihuahua. I met this girl and her dog while walking my little dog many years ago.
In April, my friend was walking her dog on Third Street in Gloversville when a loose pit bull appeared from nowhere. This dog ran and grabbed her chihuahua, shaking it like a rag doll. Her little dog sustained such severe injuries that it passed away after the attack.
My friend contacted the city's animal control officer, who followed up but could not locate the dog. Through investigation between my friend and others in the neighborhood, including myself, the dog was finally located. This was conveyed to the officer, who followed up with the resident at that address and learned the pit bull did not live at that residence where it was seen; rather, it was owned by a friend who frequently brought the dog over to visit. No further information was provided to my friend other than that the dog was great with people.
Just because a dog is people-friendly does not mean it is not animal-aggressive.
I am disappointed with animal control, as I believe that more could have been done. The visiting owner of this dog as well as the homeowner/renter who hosted the dog should be held accountable for this incident. Was the dog licensed? If it belonged to a visitor, why was the dog left unattended long enough for it to get loose? Why didn't animal control follow up further with the two parties involved? How long will it be before this "visiting" dog does it again? The parties included in this incident need to take responsibility for this situation. The leash law applies to all dogs.
How is it fair that small dog owners, who follow the law, pay taxes, clean up after their dogs, pay for veterinarian visits and dog licenses feel afraid to take a walk on the street worrying that they or their pets will be harmed?
My heart goes out to my friend for her loss. It sickens me to think the owner of this pit bull either doesn't know about the incident or knows and doesn't care and does not have the decency to contact my friend to make the situation right. At the very least, it would be commendable to offer an apology.