Jun 26, 2012 Farah Jadran Uncategorized
It’s yet to be a full year since I lived through a nightmare, a nightmare that doesn’t seem to have an ending. On Thursday, Aug. 11, 2011, my dog, Rock, and I were attacked by a pit bull running loose in my old Syracuse neighborhood. Rock, a Rottweiler that I rescued from a shelter in Colorado, had just turned 12 years old a few months prior.
To this day, I know that if it weren’t for Rock sacrificing his own life, it would have been a child, an adult, another animal or me that would have been hurt or killed. He acted with the utmost bravery that day and proved he would always make me feel safe.
Sadly, many people (myself included) do not feel safe. While my incident happened in the city of Syracuse, near Le Moyne College, I recently learned of a similar situation happening in the town of Clay.
This time, there were two pit bulls running loose on Spicebush Trail near Soule Road in Clay. The dogs were acting aggressive and not showing signs of leaving a Clay woman’s property. She had her 4-year-old son with her at the time of the incident.
Onondaga County Sheriff’s Deputy Michael Poland responded to the scene.
The Clay woman, Jessica Millard, has told reporters that Poland made attempts to contact some sort of animal control, whether it was through the town or the CNYSPCA, but there was no result.
The town’s animal control officer had the day off and his covering deputy was on a medical call. And the CNYSPCA does not have a contract with the town so they did not respond to the call either.
While the dogs posed a danger after one tried to bite Millard’s son in their front yard, there still was “no cause” for any action.
However, after Deputy Poland walked down Millard’s steps to return to his vehicle, one of the dogs bit him. And while kicking the dog away, and firing a warning shot didn’t scare the dog away, the sheriff’s deputy made an extreme decision. He shot and killed the pit bull.
After hearing this story, I couldn’t help but think about my own horrific situation. My situation that was more than a little attack. My Rock was grappled in a 20-minute fight with the pit bull that went after me first.
But when city police arrived on scene toward the very end of the fight, nothing was done. And by “nothing,” I mean nothing.
I cannot help bust ask: How is this situation any different? Was a shot fired to disarm this dog’s jaws because it had bitten a person? Or because it had bitten a law enforcement officer?
I understand that when police arrived to my scene it may have looked like a “dog fight,” but in reality it was beyond that.
I was unable to make a 911 call because I was in the fight trying to keep Rock on his feet. Several calls were made on my behalf to report this as soon as the attack commenced.
Callers told me that dispatchers could hear me screaming over the phone and asked if any people were in danger, and they replied, “Yes, a woman and her dog are being attacked by a pit bull.”
How was this different? Why was it up to me and my neighbor to break up the fight? And why was it okay for the dog to then run loose (where children and adults were heading to their cars and homes in fear) on the street after it was done mangling my dog to death?
I’ll never know why, because there’s no exact protocol for these situations, and it’s clear local law enforcement do not have any official “dangerous animal” training.
How many more “incidents” will the city and its suburbs have to endure in order for someone in the county to take action so there is a protocol?
I have so many questions, but I have no answers.
Farah F. Jadran is the editor of Syracuse Woman Magazine and the associate editor of Parent, both publications of Eagle Newspapers. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.