The same day Municipal Judge Priscilla Dorn Cutler ruled a dog to be dangerous, the owner was able to comply with restrictions outlined in the Village of Osceola’s ordinance.
Police Chief Tim Lauridsen said Sheila Linnell, 504 Cascade Street, did everything required under Chapter 74-3 subsection C.
She had to register Sedona, a mixed breed, with the clerk by providing a current color photo and payment of $75; show proof of liability insurance; display a warning sign on her premises; secure a locked pen; and microchip the dog. The police took the animal into custody, impounded it at the village kennel after the July 1 court hearing.
“She ended up getting her dog back the same evening,” Chief Lauridsen said.
A dangerous animal leather buckled collar, which is red and yellow, has been ordered. Lauridsen was unsure if it would arrive by July 25 when Linnell closes on the sale of her property in Osceola.
Linnell was self-represented last week with Village Prosecutor Tim Laux making the case against her.
“I’m just assuming we’re going to be handling this matter like a trial,” said Judge Cutler.
Lieutenant Ron Pedrys, who was off-duty at the time, testified to observing a dangerous dog on June 16 in the parking lot at Dick’s Fresh Market.
“I was actually headed to the store to pick up a watermelon for my daughters who were at home,” he said.
Lt. Pedrys said he saw an older woman walking a small dog from east to west across the parking lot. He said that Linnell’s vehicle was on the far west side of the parking lot, facing Chieftain Street.
“There was at least one dog inside [the vehicle] that I could see,” Lt. Pedrys said.
He noted there was an animal being very aggressive, barking and hitting the windows. Suddenly, Lt. Pedrys said the front passenger window came down and a large canine jumped out, going for the small dog that was on a leash.
Linnell’s dog grabbed the other one with its teeth, shaking it vigorously. Lt. Pedrys put his car in park, leaving the driver’s door open as he rushed to restrain the animals. He used his left hand to pull the larger canine back by the collar twice without any effect. Then Lt. Pedrys said he slapped Linnell’s animal in the head once, repeatedly yelling, “Let go!”
“I punched it with a closed fist in the head one time,” he said.
The small dog was squealing initially and then ceased to make any noise, Lt. Pedrys added.
He struck Linnell’s canine several more times before it finally freed the small dog, running around the vehicle it was in. Lt. Pedrys said he stepped in front of the lady, who was holding her injured dog, when the larger one came back. He kicked at it, and another citizen opened the door to Linnell’s car when her animal leaped in.
Once safely inside, Lt. Pedrys called the police department. He checked with the other woman, who was quite shaken up. A bystander went to retrieve Linnell from the grocery store.
Officer Eric Lehman and Chief Lauridsen responded to the scene. Linnell exited Dick’s Fresh Market and was very concerned about what happened. Lt. Pedrys said he didn’t see anything that may have provoked her canine.
Lt. Pedrys said the small dog suffered injuries, primarily to the facial area. He also had blood on him that was not his.
Officer Lehman said he knew Linnell through prior contacts. Two individuals filed two complaints in 2012 related to her dog, Sedona. Officer Lehman said he followed the victim dog to the veternarian and sat in on the physical examination by Dr. Johnson.
While there were no apparent abdominal injuries, Officer Lehman said there was extensive damage to the face. The dog’s bottom jaw had been separated, he noted. There was swelling of the mouth and blood coming from it, as well as on the neck.
Officer Lehman said Linnell arrived at the vet and had give personal information to pay for any costs incurred by the owner of the victim dog. He then told Linnell the case would be sent to Chief Lauridsen to determine how to proceed. Although Linnell’s canine was up-to-date on its shots, the animal was not licensed. Officer Lehman said she took care of that immediately.
“Do you by any means think I was being a neglectful dog owner?” Linnell asked Lehman on cross-examination.
“No,” he said.
Lehmann said that in all three incidents, he believes Linnell took due care to contain the dog – either by leash, cable or being locked in her vehicle.
Linnell called Kristin Dobberschutz to testify as a personal character witness.
“Has she [Sedona] every tried to bite you?” Linnell asked.
“No,” Dobberschutz said, noting she has never seen Linnell’s canine act aggressively towards other animals or people.
Linnell said that on the day in question she ran into the grocery store to get a package of hamburger and jar of spaghetti sauce. She admitted to leaving her animals in a running vehicle as the temperature was around 85 degrees.
“So that nobody would call the police on me for leaving my dog in a hot car,” Linnell said.