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Omaha woman cited after pit bull attack in Benson

Omaha woman cited after pit bull attack in Benson

The two pit bulls that attacked an Omaha couple and their dog Sunday night could be released from impoundment as soon as Tuesday if their owner can prove that they are up to date on rabies shots.

Pam Wiese, spokeswoman for the Nebraska Humane Society, said the dogs were picked up after the attack and impounded on a 10-day rabies hold. If the dogs have been vaccinated, they can spend the remainder of that supervised impoundment at home, she said.

The dogs attacked an Omaha couple who were walking their miniature poodle in Benson about 6:45 p.m. Sunday. The couple’s home is around the corner from the home where the pit bulls live.

The husband, who asked not to be identified, said the dogs charged across the street to attack their dog. When his wife reached down to pick up the poodle, the pit bulls knocked her to the ground and bit her six times on the face and hands, he said. He suffered bites to the arm, and one of the poodle’s hind legs was damaged.

The pit bulls’ owner, a 41-year-old Omaha woman, told The World-Herald that her dogs are vaccinated and that she plans to retrieve them Tuesday. As of late Tuesday afternoon, she had not picked them up.

The woman said she was not home when the attack occurred. According to a police report, a 16-year-old boy let the dogs out of the house, and they ran through an open gate as the couple were walking by. The dogs didn’t have a collar, leash or muzzle. (Omaha city ordinance requires that pit bulls be muzzled in public unless they’ve taken classes and are exempted.)

Wiese said the owner was initially cited on suspicion of no proof of vaccinations, no proof of licenses, no proof of insurance, allowing her pit bulls to be unmuzzled in public and damage to property. If she can disprove some of those allegations, the citations will be dropped, Wiese said. Other citations will move forward, she said.

The citations carry potential penalties ranging from $30 for not having a license to $1,000 for an unmuzzled pit bull. Additionally, the Humane Society has classified the two pit bulls as potentially dangerous dogs, which puts in place additional requirements for the woman to retain ownership.

The dogs have been known to get free, the owner and her neighbors say.

“They’re not bad dogs,” the owner said. “My dogs have gotten out, and my neighbors bring them back — she (the injured woman) has even brought them back. They were trying to attack another dog, not her; they’ve never attacked anybody before.”

After the attack, the injured woman went to the Nebraska Medical Center, where she was treated and released, and the poodle was taken to a veterinary clinic.

The husband said Monday that he and his wife were badly hurt in the attack. They are hoping that their poodle does not lose its leg, he said.

“Our dog almost had its leg ripped off,” the husband said. “This was a vicious attack, and my wife has a lot of bite marks to her face and hands. “

The dog’s owner apologized for the attack.

“I do apologize, I hope she recovers,” she said of her neighbor.


kevin.cole@owh.com, 402-444-1272

Omaha World-Herald: Afternoon Update

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Nancy Gaarder helps cover public safety and weather events as an editor on The World-Herald's breaking news desk. Follow her on Twitter @gaarder. Email: nancy.gaarder@owh.com

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