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Mitchell dog bites girl and becomes repeat offender

A pitbull mix dog already registered with the city of Mitchell as a potentially dangerous animal bit another person Sunday afternoon.

At 1:35 p.m., Mitchell Police Division received a call that the Pitbull-Catahoula mix bit an 8-year-old girl on the 600 block of West Birch Street. The dog was already categorized as potentially dangerous for biting a person in May 2012. It will now be officially deemed dangerous, which requires its owner to remove it from city limits.

Officer Kelly Loudenburg said the girl was riding her bike on the sidewalk while the dog's owner took it outside to do its business. Loudenburg is not releasing the dog's owner's name at this time as the case is still under investigation.

"The owner had the dog on a rope but was unable to gain control of the dog," Loudenburg said. "The owner tried to yell at the girl to stay back ... but the dog jumped up and bit her once."

The dog's bite caused one laceration and two puncture marks to the girls inner left bicep, he said. The dog's owner applied pressure to the wound after getting the dog back inside her home. The girl was able to ride her bike home and the dog's owner followed in her vehicle to inform the girl's mother what happened.

The girl's mother transported the girl to the Avera Queen of Peace Emergency Room where she was treated and released. The girl received seven stitches, Loudenburg said.

The dog's owner also went to the emergency room where she met with Loudenburg, who said she presented him with current proof of rabies vaccinations for the dog.

The dog is being held at the Osterhaus Animal Shelter at Lakeview Veterinary Clinic in Mitchell.

The dog's owner violated one rule of having a potentially dangerous animal -- it was not muzzled while outside its enclosure. Otherwise, she followed all the rules, Loudenburg said. The dog was on a leash or rope less than 6 feet long, it was microchipped and was wearing a rabies tag stating it had current rabies vaccinations. The owner of a potentially dangerous dog must otherwise keep the dog inside, or provide a secure enclosure outside which is labeled clearly with a warning of a potentially dangerous dog, he said, all of which this owner did.

No charges are pending against the owner. However, according to statute, the dog must be taken out of city limits as a second-time offender. Mitchell Chief of Public Safety Lyndon Overweg and Animal Control Officer John Parker will assess the situation this morning and decide what to do, Loudenburg said.