Dog owner to face felony charge
Thursday, March 17, 2005
Two dog attacks in a week puts Spotsylania County authorities in the spotlight to take action on pet owners for their dog's behavior. In unrelated incidences, an elderly woman was killed and another woman was bitten. Three dogs have been shot dead by police.
An 82 year old woman was walking her Shih Tzu breed of dog in her front yard last week when she came under attack by three Pit Bulls. She died being transported to the hospital after police responded and shot two of the attacking dogs. They later captured the third dog and euthanized it.
More recently, a 31 year old woman was bitten on her hand during a fight that ensued between two Pit Bulls in her back yard. The responding police officer shot the aggressor dog.
Public outcry over the death of the elderly woman stirred procecutors to charge the dogs’ owner, Deeana Large, with involuntary manslaughter. This is a first for the Commonwealth of Virginia where charges that carry a maximum penalty of 10 years are leveled in a case involving a pet's owner. In order to gain an indictment, prosecuters will have to prove the dogs' owner was criminally negligent. In the biting incident, the attacking dog’s owner faces a misdemeanor charge of letting the dog run at large.
Deeana Large, who initially said she owned only 1 of the 3 dogs involved in the mauling case, has not yet been formally charged and awaits indictment. Investigators in the case say there were earlier reports of her dogs allegedly killing a German Shepard and a kittten in her neighborhood. Complaints by neighbors spurred an animal control officer to be looking for the dogs at the time the woman was killed.
- Kari Pugh. "Another pit bull attack in Spotsylvania" — , March 15, 2005
- Keith Epps. "Pit bulls' owner to face charges" — , March 14, 2005