There is a dangerous situation developing in the area of 27th Street, here in Point Pleasant. For the past year or so our neighborhood has been held prisoner by pit bulls, and the situation seems to be escalating.
It all began over a year ago with attacks on neighbors and their pets by a large, male pit bull. After biting one woman, attacking the teen-aged grandson of one of my neighbors, and killing a neighbor’s dog, it was ordered that the offending animal be removed, which it was. But not before the owner acquired a female pit bull to replace the one ordered to be removed, and not before the male impregnated the female.
The upshot of all this is that now, instead of one pit bull terrorizing the neighborhood, we now have three: the mother and two of her six offspring. Two neighbors have already been bitten by these dogs and my own dog was viciously attacked as I walked him by these dogs running loose through the neighborhood; a totally unwarranted attack which resulted in over $200 in veterinary bills which the owner refuses to pay.
So what, you might ask, is being done about this threat to our families and our pets? As mentioned earlier, the original pit bull was ordered to be removed from the neighborhood, which he was. Since then, however, the response has not been so positive. When my dog was attacked, I did what I was supposed to do and contacted 911 to request a police officer come so I could file a report, and the dog warden to, hopefully, remove the dogs. After waiting nearly three hours, a police officer finally arrived and took a report and, about the same time, the Dog Warden showed up to take a report, as well. (Note: The Dog Warden informed me at the time that, although he could take a report, there was nothing he could do, since this was the first time he had been called.)
Since that time, the pit bulls have been loose on at least two separate occasions. The first time, a Point Pleasant City Police officer issued a citation to the owner for violation of the city leash law and told us to contact the department any time there was a recurrence and the owner would be cited again. Obviously, this policy has changed in the last month because Saturday (November 5) when my grandson came running into the house, agitated and out of breath, exclaiming that the pit bulls were running loose again, we did as instructed. My wife called 911 to request an officer as I took pictures of all three dogs gamboling through the neighborhood, unleashed and wild. (We also called the neighbors and warned them against going outside or letting their animals out.)
The long and the short of it is that I received a call from the Police Department informing me that since, by this time, the dogs had been returned to their yard, they could not come up and take a report. I was also informed at the time that they (the City Police Department) were not authorized to contact the Dog Warden since only the County Commission had his contact information. It was not until a member of the city administration also witnessed these dogs running loose and reported it that an officer finally arrived and took a report.
How much longer will the residents of this neighborhood be forced to live in fear of these dogs? How long will it be before we will be able to walk our dogs in the neighborhood without looking over our shoulders all the time? When will our children and grandchildren be able to play outside or ride their bicycles in the neighborhood without fear? And when will the average citizens of this town begin receiving the basic city services they deserve?