Southeast residents want dangerous dogs problem resolved
By David Little, West Central Tribune
Published Friday, August 08, 2008
WILLMAR — Two Third Street Southeast residents say they want something done about dangerous dogs in their neighborhood.
Kristopher Vanheuveln of 732 Third St. S.E. lives next door to two people who were issued citations by the Willmar Police Department after a dog described as an English pit bull bolted from their home and attacked a mail carrier on the other side of the street on July 30.
“We have lived there eight years and it has been nothing but a pain,’’ Vanheuveln told the Willmar City Council this week.
He said there have been five other accounts of biting by this dog that have not been reported. He said his wife was subpoenaed to testify in a case against the owner after a dog pulled a boy from his bicycle.
“I have a 3-year-old daughter who says we can’t go outside because the doggies are running all over the neighborhood,’’ Vanheuveln said during the council’s open forum. “How many times does the police station have to go there before they say this is enough … we’re going to take him?’’
Chad Roschild, 812 Third St. S.E., spoke on behalf family members and several neighbors about the attack on the mail carrier. The carrier suffered a large laceration and puncture wound on his right hand and thumb.
Roschild said some people in the neighborhood have received notices from the Postal Service stating the homeowners have 10 days to either put up a mailbox on the east side of the street or rent a post office box.
They’ve been told mail will no longer be delivered to homes between Augusta and Johanna avenues due to the dog problem, he said.
“If anything is done with these dogs that he has to put them down, do we have a guarantee that he’s not going to have dangerous dogs again given the fact that he has them unlicensed currently?’’ Roschild asked.
“In order for us to seize and euthanize a dog under the dangerous dog statute, we have to have a prior warning before the second bite,’’ said Police Chief Jim Kulset.
“The city attorney has to serve notice on him that he has a potentially dangerous dog and that dog unfortunately has to attack somebody again before we can seize and euthanize it. That’s the state law,’’ he said.
The chief said the police department has cited the dog owners, Leann Olson and Jeffrey Ellingboe, at least four times in the last week. He said the dog that bit the mail carrier is in police custody at the Kandiyohi County Humane Society for approximately 10 days or more.
“Hopefully in that time frame we can come up with a resolution with the owner of that dog to have it euthanized. That’s what we’re working with right now,’’ he said.
Kulset said he hopes something can be resolved with Ellingboe, who owns two other dogs, and City Attorney Rich Ronning.
Mayor Les Heitke urged Roschild and Vanheuveln to stay in touch with Ronning.
“I believe our city attorney will be taking action,’’ Heitke said.
Ronning was out of the office this week and unavailable for comment.
Council member Jim Dokken said 42 children live on Third Street Southeast in and around the location of the dogs.
“There are dogs all over the city. We need to get this fixed so that people can feel safe and secure in their homes,’’ Dokken said.
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Bless the Bullys