City’s first dangerous dog case opened

By Chris Collins February 24, 2014 09:09 am

By Chris Collins

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The first dangerous/vicious dog case is on the docket even before a hearings officer has been appointed to consider the evidence.

Police Chief Wyn Lohner said his officers received a report of allegations of a pit-bull type dog chasing people in an east Baker City neighborhood on Feb. 15.

That case will be the first to be considered by the new  animal control hearings officer, who the Baker City Council is expected to appoint at its Tuesday meeting, which begins at 7 p.m. at City Hall, 1655 First St. 

(A closed session will precede the meeting at 6 p.m.)

Two people have applied for the position of animal control officer, which includes a proposed stipend of $30 to $40 per case, City Manager Mike Kee said.

The applicants are Paula Renee Sawyer of 785 Idlewood Drive and Jordan Lee Ann Hall of 1140 Myrtle St.

The dog in question belongs to Katie Everson, 30, of 1606 Third St., Lohner said.

Complaints about the dog chasing people have come from Miranda Webb, 33, of 2128 Place St., who owns a day care center at her home and Cindy Bacon, 42, of 2150 Church St.

Webb and Bacon claim that the dog chased Bacon and her husband while they were dropping their 2-year-old off at Webb’s day care center on Feb. 14. Webb told police about two other incidents between June and July when the dog allegedly chased a neighbor girl onto Webb’s front porch and knocked Webb’s son down.

There have been no reports of the dog biting anyone, Lohner said.

“Its actions are a pretty good indication that its aggression may be escalating,” he said. 

A hearing will be scheduled to let both sides testify in front of the newly appointed hearings officer, who will decide whether the dog should be designated as dangerous or vicious, Lohner said.

If the animal is determined to be a problem, the owner will be ordered to comply with regulations that would allow her to keep her dog, while also protecting her neighbors, Lohner said.

The city developed the ordinance regulating dangerous or vicious dogs after 5-year-old Jordan Ryan was killed by a pit bull on Sept. 27, 2013.