Following alleged attack, owner of dogs says designation is 'ridiculous'The owner of a dog deemed to be dangerous by a city official said Thursday that the designation is “ridiculous.” Susi Contreras, Mitchell, was fined $351 after her three dogs ran loose — she said they escaped their pens at 713 ½ W. Second Ave. — and allegedly cornered Diane Odegaard, Mitchell, as she was walking her own dogs early Thursday morning.
By: Austin Kaus, The Daily Republic
The owner of a dog deemed to be dangerous by a city official said Thursday that the designation is “ridiculous.”
Susi Contreras, Mitchell, was fined $351 after her three dogs ran loose — she said they escaped their pens at 713 ½ W. Second Ave. — and allegedly cornered Diane Odegaard, Mitchell, as she was walking her own dogs early Thursday morning.
In addition, one of the dogs, Guero, was deemed a dangerous animal by Animal Control Officer John Parker, meaning the dog had 24 hours to be permanently removed from city limits or face euthanasia. Contreras said she has removed the dog from the city.
But Contreras insists that her dogs — which she said are full-blooded boxers and not the pit bull/boxer crosses they have been described as — are all friendly animals who were likely only interested in Odegaard’s dogs and not in hurting Odegaard herself.
“They’re not pit bulls,” Contreras said. “We hate pit bulls.”
Friday, Guero was at a veterinarian in Parkston while the Contreras family pondered their next move.
Contreras said she forgot to bring in the dogs, usually kept in the family’s home, after taking a meal to her husband at work Wednesday evening. Guero and his two, 1-year-old pups, Damien and Troy, managed to escape a homemade fence, Contreras said, and eventually encountered Odegaard at approximately 5:15 a.m. Thursday.
Odegaard said she subdued one of the dogs with pepper spray and found a breezeway where she kept the dogs at bay with a found shovel. A stranger responded to her repeated pounding on the door and let her in.
Odegaard wasn’t injured, but she’s hoping to see dog laws in Mitchell adjusted to help prevent a repeat incident from occurring.
Meanwhile, Contreras, a mother of four children ranging in ages from 2 to 14, maintains her pets’ innocence, saying she would never allow a dangerous animal into her home.
“My dogs, especially Guero, love to play with kids,” Contreras said. “I wouldn’t have a dog that was dangerous to my kids or my neighbors.”
Because she doesn’t consider euthanasia to be an option, Contreras said the family will probably leave Mitchell in order to keep Guero.
The animal’s escape has put the Contreras family in a position they didn’t imagine when they moved to Mitchell from California last year.
“I never thought it was going to get me apart from my animals,” Contreras said.