Dogs tied to multiple attacks still not deemed dangerous by local authorities

Local News

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Erica Curtis thought she was simply taking her English Bulldog for a walk.

She says she and Boomski were walking along the trail behind Austin Ridge Church late last month when two unleashed dogs approached them.

Their owner was not far behind.

“She says, it’s okay, they’re good. And not even a second later is when they were around us and attacked,” said Curtis.

The 30-minute ordeal nearly left her dog dead. Curtis herself suffered multiple fractured fingers and underwent surgery. She begins physical therapy on Friday.

“God forbid that was a child out there,” said Curtis.

Curtis is filing a lawsuit against the dogs’ owner, listed as Patricia Stanford.

KXAN has obtained several reports tied to dogs owned by Stanford. They include attacks on other dogs, people being injured, and the dogs simply running around unleashed.

“It kind of kicked back some PTSD,” remarked Melissa Melot.

Melot says her French Bulldog was attacked by one of Stanford’s dogs at Bee Cave Dog Park, in a story KXAN reported last year.

“Next thing I know, it was clamped down on Astro’s face, just throwing him around like a rag doll,” she said.

Following that attack, Bee Cave police tell us the attacking dog was banned from the park.

KXAN reached out to Stanford, who said she couldn’t give an interview.

She did send a statement that addresses the incident with Curtis and her dog. It reads in part:

“The incident that happened shouldn’t have happened. We were on church property that does not require leashes for pets. When me and my dogs were coming around the bend, I heard your client say stop. When we got near, she was crouched over her dog with no leash on and said that her dog doesn’t get along with other dogs. I told her that we would go around and I thought she had control of her dog. My female ran up to greet her dog, and he lunged aggressively at her. My male took that as an act of aggression toward his pack and ran to her dog. That’s when all hell broke loose.”

In a separate message, Stanford told us that this situation is just another incident where the authorities were being unreasonable, and that her dogs were only protecting her.

Despite being involved in several reported attacks, Stanford’s dogs have not been labeled dangerous by authorities.

The state has a process for so-called dangerous dogs.

Dangerous dogs must make an unprovoked attack on a person that causes bodily injury, and it must happen in an open space.        

Austin Animal Control says the victim must initiate a hearing to determine whether the dog is to be deemed dangerous.

After owners of dangerous dogs must obtain liability insurance coverage of at least $100,000 to cover damages coming from any attack. If they don’t comply, they have to surrender the animal.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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