Council labels Austin dog as potentially dangerous

Published 10:46 am Tuesday, March 17, 2015

The Austin City Council labeled Colt, a basset hound/black shepherd mix, a potentially dangerous dog after it allegedly bit a mail carrier last month.

According to Austin police, a mail carrier was on the job Feb. 18 delivering mail at a house next to Tobius Wilking’s residence when Colt, 1 and a half years old, came over and bit the carrier on his calf.

Wilking called the dog back to his house once he saw Colt bite the carrier.

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Wilking told the Austin City Council he didn’t realize the dog broke skin and spoke with the carrier that afternoon about the incident, where he offered to pay any medical bills the carrier may have.

“He’s never had an incident with the dog,” Wilking said.

Yet Wilking’s plea didn’t stop the council from approving the potentially dangerous dog designation, which doesn’t carry any penalties but acts as a first-and-final warning in case the dog attacks anyone else.

“We have to separate the emotion from the facts here,” Council Member Steve King told Wilking.

Wilking was concerned he wouldn’t be able to bring his dog down to the city’s dog park after the incident, but Mayor Tom Stiehm said Wilking likely would be fine at the dog park.