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Residents say dog poses threat to Harrisburg neighborhood - abc27 WHTM

Residents say dog poses threat to Harrisburg neighborhood

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HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) -

Residents say they are living in fear of a dog that is posing a threat to their Harrisburg neighborhood.

Their neighbor's dog is said to have attacked and killed pets.

Flashes of pink and blue were seen to shoot from a Taser held by Skyler Zurat. The young woman said she purchased protection not long ago.

"I was scared that dog was going to attack me and my dog," she said.

Zurat and her dog "Metal" have lived in fear after she said another dog in her Midtown neighborhood killed "Morris," her roommate's orange tabby cat.

"The neighbor's dog was in our backyard eating our cat," said Zurat. "It's head was in its mouth. And the owner came and tried to pull it out of his mouth and the dog wouldn't let go. It was horrible."

Zurat described the scene as horrific after she said the dog decapitated Morris.

Cooper Klineyoung said he witnessed the attack that happened on October 22. He was miffed most about the dog owner's reaction.

"I just saw the guy pick the dog up and walk away and not even say a word to my neighbor," he said.

Zurat said she called police and Harrisburg Animal Control, which came the following day to file a report. abc27 has chosen not to name the defendant, but according to court documents the man was charged with permitting his dog to run at large.

Zurat and Klineyoung said this was not the first time the dog terrorized the neighborhood. A few doors down on Penn Street, another neighbor recounted his run-in with the "aggressive" dog.

Because of an ongoing legal battle with the dog's owner, he asked abc27 not to reveal his identity. He did show several photos of his bull terrier with near fatal wounds. While walking his dog on a leash on September 1, he said his pup was attacked by the same dog that was running free.

During the scuffle, he said he was bitten by the dog and suffered ligament damage from the injuries. The attack has racked up more than $30,000 in medical and veterinarian bills.

Court documents show the man was charged with several counts of non-restraint of animal, unlawful to own dog three months without proper rabies certification, and several firearm offenses. Court documents show he also threatened the owner of the bull terrier.

Police said the dog was put on a 10-day confinement in regards to not having proper rabies vaccinations. That has since been lifted.

Zurat said the dog continues to pose a threat to the neighborhood.

"I don't understand why it's taking so long for something to be done about this dog," she said.

After checking with police, they said the dog in question has been cited to be labeled a "dangerous dog" under Pennsylvania's Dog Law. According to the state's Dog Law Enforcement Office, a judge will determine if the dog is indeed dangerous.

Currently, there is no hearing date set.

The Department of Agriculture oversees the Dog Law Enforcement Office. According to the website, a dangerous dog must be kept indoors and not tethered outside. If the dog goes outside, it must be muzzled.

Among other requirements, the dog is required to have a microchip, fixed, and registered by the DLEO.

The owner is required to have $50,000 liability insurance, pay an annual $500 registration fee, post warning signs that the dog is an identified dangerous dog.

In severe cases, a judge could have the dog be removed or put down.

Animal authorities explained a dog's status is similar to humans whereas a dog is innocent until proven otherwise by a judge. Until then, a dog is not required by law to be confined. Because the second incident involved an attack on another animal, it may not be viewed the same as if it were a human.

"I'm just tired of walking around the neighborhood having to feel like I can't walk anywhere close to where they live because these dogs are not really being kept under control," Klineyoung said.

 

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