Council votes against putting dangerous dog down

Published 10:14 am Tuesday, November 18, 2014

The Austin City Council voted 5-2 Monday to put strict requirements on a 3-year-old Boxer that bit a 9-month-old in the face.

City officials recommended Mia, the dog in question, be destroyed after it bit owner Grace Goodew’s daughter’s face on Oct. 13. The infant required medical attention at Mayo Clinic Health System in Austin but her wounds were superficial.

Goodew and several residents protested the decision to put the dog down during the council’s public meeting Monday.

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“She’s not a bad dog at all,” Goodew said.

City Attorney David Hoversten expressed concern the dog might harm other people after it bit Goodew’s daughter. According to a police report, Goodew had left the dog and her daughter alone in the kitchen for a moment when she heard a strange bark coming from the kitchen. She found her daughter with blood on her face and took the child to the hospital.

Community Service Officer Ernesto Cantu said the dog was timid and hadn’t acted up during its time at the city’s dog pound, but he recommended the dog be destroyed according to city ordinances.

The council hesitated to put the dog down, however, after one of Goodew’s friends said she would likely take care of the dog at her farm south of Austin. Council members voted to put several restrictions on the dog, including mandatory insurance, a microchip implant and other measures. Council Members Steve King and Michael Jordal dissented.