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Douglas dog owner contesting citation

Shiz Tsu-Pomeranian mix died day after being attacked by Mastiff-Pit bull mix

Posted: December 15, 2013 - 1:09am

A Douglas dog owner is contesting a citation he was issued after one of his dogs attacked another that later died from its injuries.

Juneau District Court records show Jody Vick, 61, entered a not guilty plea to the non-criminal minor offense of “objectionable menacing” on Dec. 3.

Animal Control officers cited Vick after Sophie, a 5-year-old Shiz Tsu-Pomeranian mix, died from injuries sustained during the Thanksgiving day attack.

Animal Control officer Matt Musslewhite said Vick was walking four dogs when one of them, a 4-year-old Mastiff-Pit bull mix named Sushi, attacked Sophie on First Street in Douglas. Sophie died about 24 hours later at a veterinarian clinic. The attack was unprovoked, Musslewhite said.

“From my understanding, it was so sudden that neither party was expecting it,” Musslewhite said in a phone interview Friday.

During the course of the investigation, Animal Control received differing accounts about whether Vick’s dogs were leashed at the time.

“One account shows both animals involved were both on a leash, and another account has two of the four (dogs belonging to Vick) on a leash, so I’m not sure exactly what the whole scenario was,” Musslewhite said.

Animal Control is still following up with witnesses. The attack took place on the street in front of a condominium complex. Musslewhite said he’s been in contact with at least four witnesses thus far.

Vick did not return phone calls seeking comment on Friday. The owner of the dog that died also could not be reached.

Vick’s dog has since been classified as “dangerous,” which means Animal Control can enforce strict rules and regulations regarding the dog’s confinement in order to protect the public.

Musslewhite said Vick is contesting that classification. An Animal Hearing Board will be convened to hear his appeal.

This was the second documented dog attack in Juneau in a week’s span. Another dog was attacked by three pit bulls that got loose near Hospital Drive on Dec. 4. The dog and its owner survived but sustained serious injuries.

• Contact reporter Emily Russo Miller at 523-2263 or at emily.miller@juneauempire.com.

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