FRUITLAND — After a public hearing over the matter on Monday night, the Fruitland City Council deemed a dog that attacked a Fruitland resident’s chihuahua while visiting the area as dangerous.
The public hearing took place during the regular meeting of the City Council at Fruitland City Hall.
The council heard testimony from Kimberly, Idaho resident and owner Deserae Gohner regarding her Collie mix, Paisley, who was the aggressor in the situation. She read from a short series of prepared statements and before turning over the podium to Tia Noland, an acquaintance of Gohner and a resident of Fruitland.
Noland said she has had her children and cat in the presence of Paisley without incident.
“I think it was a freak thing that happened,” she said.
Fruitland Police Chief J.D. Huff spoke next saying that the chihuahua that was killed was tethered to its owner’s porch when it was attacked. Huff stated that a domesticated animal was killed on its property without provocation, emphasizing that the incident fits the guidelines of dangerous dog designation.
Councilor Kari Peterson asked Gohner if this is the first time that Paisley had ever been aggressive to which Gohner replied that it was. Gohner went on to say that she took responsibility for what happened because she felt that as someone who lives outside of Fruitland, her dog was in unfamiliar surroundings which might have been why the incident occurred.
In making its decision, the City Council cited the fact that the dog which was victimized was on its own property when it was attacked. Councilor Stuart Grimes reiterated the “unfortunate circumstances” that led to the chihuahua being euthanized.
The council noted that Gohner is not a resident of Fruitland and asked City Attorney Stephanie Bonney how the dangerous dog designation would be enforced.
Bonney told the council that the designation would only “apply when the dog is here.”
Councilor Pierson motioned to designate Paisley as a dangerous dog; this was seconded by Grimes. The council deemed that the dog should be designated as dangerous following a unanimous vote.
Mayor Brian Howell said that Gohner would be receiving a letter that outlines her dog’s designation and that if she returns to Fruitland with the dog, she must follow specific guidelines including spaying or neutering the dog and posting signs on the premises where the dog is staying as a warning to people. The dog will also be required to be kept in an enclosed area in which it cannot escape.