A 70-pound Rottweiler that knocked down a Lincoln Park jogger and gnawed her ankle is a “dangerous dog,” the city hearing examiner ruled Tuesday.
The ruling, however, doesn’t mean Axel will be put to sleep.
“A dangerous dog ruling means the owner will have to purchase a $150 dangerous dog license, keep the dog in a locked kennel, post dangerous dog signs and show $50,000 in liability insurance,” said Gail Mackie, executive director of SpokAnimal C.A.R.E.
SpokAnimal officials recommended the dog be deemed dangerous. The hearing’s purpose was to determine if Axel is dangerous, not whether the dog should be destroyed.
Monica Hulubei, Axel’s owner, said she will appeal the ruling, although she does plan to have his teeth shortened by a veterinarian.
“The dog will not be dangerous anymore since he will have no biting capacity,” Hulubei said.
Mackie is skeptical that shaving Axel’s teeth will blunt his bite. “That means he bites with smaller teeth,” she said.
Hulubei has 14 days to appeal the ruling, Mackie said. If Hulubei doesn’t appeal and fails to meet the dangerous-dog requirements, Axel would be destroyed.
The ruling came after Hearing Examiner Greg Smith listened to testimony Monday from the injured jogger, Stephanie Schrimshire, Hulubei and the animal control officer who picked the dog up from Hulubei’s home after the Jan. 19 attack.
Schrimshire, 59, a teacher at North Central High School, was jogging around the pond at Lincoln Park. The dog, on a retractable leash held by Hulubei’s 16-year-old daughter, lunged and knocked Schrimshire down.
Schrimshire spent five days in the hospital after the dog tore a 5-inch flap of skin from her left ankle.
Hobbling into the hearing room on a crutch, Schrimshire said the dog should be destroyed.
“The dog was gnawing on me, dragging me across the ground. It bit down to the bone,” she told Smith. “I’m going to have to wear a bandage for six months to a year.”
SpokAnimal’s Shane Presley testified that when he arrived at Hulubei’s South Hill home to confiscate Axel, a day after the attack, the dog broke its chain and lunged at him.
Presley said he had to jam his metal clipboard into the dog’s mouth to prevent it from biting him.
“I’ve still got teeth marks on my clipboard,” Presley said.
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