Local Pit Bull Attacking Neighbors

May 28 2003
Posted at: 11:45 p.m. CDT

JONESBORO, Ark. -- Animal control workers in Jonesboro say that the city has a growing problem with aggressive and potentially deadly dogs.

The resident of one neighborhood says that a local pit bull has attacked children in the area, including his daughter. Randy Sparrow says the dog, which was staying inside its home, bit his 5-year-old daughter Kayla in the face two weeks ago.

"She went over to visit the little girl (at the home) and the dog attacked her," Sparrow said.

The result: Kayla required multiple stitches.

"The lady that came, that was familiar with the dog could not even put a leash on it," said Animal Control Officer Terry Veal.

The pit bull's most recent victim is a 22-year-old man. Justin Crouch. He was bitten multiple times early Tuesday morning. He was just released from the hospital.

"In my opinion," officer Kim Johnson said. "This was not just a bite, this was a full fledged attack."

While the city does have a vicious dog ordinance, only a judge can determine whether a dog is "vicious."

"The way the law reads right now," city Animal Control Director Jim Bowman said. "An animal has to bite twice before it can be deemed a vicious animal. We don't have the authority to do that. It has to be done by a judge."

Once an animal that has bitten someone is brought in by animal control, it's supposed to go to the veterinarians office to be quarantined for 10 days. However, if the victim agrees to it, the animal can go home with the owner to be quarantined at home.

Animal control workers and others want the power to prevent an animal from harming someone put solely into their own hands.

Jim Hargis, a new member of the Jonesboro City Council, sits on the Public Safety Committee, and oversees animal control. He says he isn't aware of the city's vicious animal ordinance, but he will look into its wording and what changes might need to be made.