One of the owners of a dachshund killed by a pit bull that broke loose in Thornwald Park in June has requested the borough look into new laws to govern what he described as potentially dangerous animals.
Bill Smith made the request Wednesday during the Carlisle Borough Council’s evening public safety committee meeting.
“Any dog that has that particular ability to bite, destroy, I think it should be more than just a vet registration with a tag,” Smith said. “The city should have some kind of control on that kind of animal. Let’s face it, they are dangerous. Some of them are dangerous.”
Smith admitted that he has been deeply emotional about pit bulls following the attack on his dog, Schatzi.
Much of Smith’s comments centered around ways to ensure that larger, and potentially dangerous dogs do not come in contact with the public unattended.
“If you’re going to have one, you must have a particular environment to control them,” Smith said.
In an earlier report, police said a pit bull jumped the fence of its owner, Brittany Over, and went to Thornwald Park where it killed Smith’s dog and attacked another dog before being forced away from the park. Over chose to euthanized the dog the next day. She does face charges related to the pit bull being unrestrained.
Smith said he did not know what the best practices would be, but requested that the council look at a requirement for certain breeds of dogs to be muzzled while out in the general population — even if on a leash.
“I realize when you start talking about picking a breed of dog, people will say ‘but what about this breed, or this breed,’” Smith said, acknowledging the difficulties that may come with these new rules. “Yes, that is a difficult thing to draw a line.”
Carlisle currently requires all dog owners to have their pets on a leash while outside, and Carlisle Police Chief Stephen Margeson said anyone who sees a dog roaming off of its leash should contact police.
“The next step is just to see what’s out there,” council President Perry Heath said. “What other ordinances and laws, restrictions and liabilities, all things that you just addressed … at the same time, we’ll take it under advisement.”
For Smith, the concern was about what may happen next time a dog gets loose.
“A puppy dog, a pet is one thing to lose, but a child, and it has happened,” Smith said. “It has happened, and it is just wrong.”