Brian Wolfe

Malheur County Sheriff Brian Wolfe speaks to the Ontario Chamber of Commerce, in April of 2018.

VALE — A 16-year-old youth from Vale must quarantine her pitbull for 10 days to ensure there are no signs of rabies, after the dog entered someone else’s home late Sunday evening and attacked a small dog, injuring both the dog and one of the adults in the home who was trying to stop the attack.

According to Malheur County Sheriff Brian Wolfe, the incident happened at about 10:45 p.m. Sunday, in an apartment complex in the 200 block of Park Street in Vale.

“The family was watching the TV and the door, a sliding glass door on the apartment, was cracked open, when a pitbull came into their home and attacked their small dog,” he said.

Two adults in the home attempted to get the pitbull off of their dog with one man “grabbing its collar, twisting it trying to get it to let go,” and another man “punching the pitbull in the head to get his dog free.” It was at that moment the dog turned on the man twisting the collar and bit and scratched his arm.

“He was finally able to pick up the pitbull and throw him out the door,” the sheriff said, stating that they followed the dog back to his apartment, where it was later discovered the dog had escaped by “jumping through a screen and out the window of an upper story.”

The animal was taken to a local animal hospital and the man was treated on scene by paramedics, stating that he would follow up with further medical care after seeing that his dog was taken care of.

There is no victim compensation fund for medical expenses, according to Wolfe. However, if the owner doesn’t voluntarily cover those expenses, the victim can seek compensation for damages in civil court.

The owner was found a short time later and was cited for having a dog as a public nuisance, which is a city ordinance violation for which she will have to appear at Vale’s Municipal Court.

This is because she explained to deputies that she had the pitbull for about two months, having rescued it from West Valley Humane Society in Idaho. In addition, the dog was known to have anxiety attacks when it was left alone, which she had left him alone to go for a walk.

Local city and county ordinances include pitbulls on their vicious dogs list, so by ordinance, those dogs listed “have to be kept in a secure pin that has an enclosure and a roof so they can’t jump out.”

Although Oregon does not allow authorities to enforce euthanization of an animal that has attacked another animal or bitten a person, Wolfe said the owner can opt do it voluntarily after the quarantine period has ended.

“Imagine how chaotic that was to have a pitbull come into your home and grab your dog,” he said.

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