Procedure & policy change coming to Akron animal control after pit bull attacks children

Neighbors speak out about attack

AKRON, Ohio - John Valle with the city of Akron told NewsChannel5 Friday that there is a procedure and policy change coming to the Akron Animal Control Office after a pit bull attacked several people Wednesday night leaving a 6-year-old child mauled and in serious condition.

Akron Police said the dog warden never showed up on Dietz Avenue after the attack that night.

Valle said the animal control officer did go to the dog owner's house Thursday and issued four additional citations.

Friday morning Valle said city officials met to discuss how the animal control officer should respond in the future. Valle would not discuss details of the policy change until he meets with police. 

Valle said the dog warden didn't show up the night of the attack, because police said the pit bull had been brought under control by the dog owner and that the dog was back in the house. 

If the dog was still loose, Valle said the warden would have gone out to Dietz Avenue, but once the dog is in the house the dog is considered the owner's private property. A judge would have to issue a search warrant for the warden to take the dog. 

However, Valle said while the warden followed current policy, it was a lapse in judgement not to respond to the scene that night. 

Valle said as of today a new policy will be implemented for when and how to respond to dog attacks. 

Meanwhile, neighbors are speaking out about the attack.  "Nobody wants the dog here," said Jaime Harper who lives across the street. "Nobody feels safe with that dog still here."

Harper has lived in the neighborhood for three months but said she didn't know about the dog until Wednesday night.  Now, she's afraid it may attack again.

"I'm not sure what the dog policy is," she said, "but if something like that happens it should be mandatory right there on the spot that an animal that's vicious should be put down and taken out of the vicinity for the safety of everyone else around."

Police said Andre Brown who lives on Dietz Avenue and owns the dog must appear in Akron municipal court September 25.. 

It will be up to the judge to decide what happens to the pit bull which could include putting the dog down or having it moved out of city limits into the county.

Also 911 tapes reveal that the six year old victim told medical staff at Akron Children's Hospital that a stranger drove him to the hospital.

Neighbors said the boy appeared to be seriously injured with several bite wounds and needed immediate attention.

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