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Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Dog bite victim files claim

Friday, May 13, 2011

McCOOK, Nebraska -- The McCook City Council will receive a claim Monday for $50,000 in damages from the elderly man attacked by two dogs, while walking near the fairgrounds in 2010. The claim comes from attorneys representing Dale Adams and is directed at the City of McCook and Chief of Police, Isaac Brown.

It singles out Brown as the "rabies control authority" due to the several positions he occupies, including Chief Animal Control Officer, Chief Health Officer of the Municipality and others. Negligence is cited on the part of Brown in "failing to apprehend, seize, and quarantine the two dogs in a timely manner so as to permit the observation and examination of the two dogs as required."

The claim goes on to state that the head of one of the dogs was not retained, "so as to prevent the lawfully prescribed rabies tests from being conducted," adding that as a result of the negligence Adams had to undergo the painful rabies vaccination procedure. The claim also cites mental and physical pain and suffering as well as emotional distress, to date and being reasonably certain in the future. "Claimant has had his usual and normal life functions impaired and has developed a fear of attack by dogs and is unable, because of such fear, to engage in his usual practice of taking walks," according to the claim.

Council members are not expected to take action on the item, during their semi-monthly meeting, 7:30 p.m., at Memorial Auditorium, other than to approve its receipt and instruct it be submitted to the city's insurance carrier for review and appropriate action. The claim comes less than a week following City Councilman Shane Hilker's conviction on a city ordinance violation, for having an unrestrained dangerous dog of his own.

Councilman Hilker pleaded no contest, May 10, in Red Willow County Court to the charge and was subsequently sentenced by County Court Judge Anne Paine to a $250 fine.

While the city council made progress in the fall of 2009 by strengthening local dog ordinances, when it raised fine amounts including that of the vicious dog citation from $50 to $500. It was nearly a year later and not until after the attack on Adams, before an offender was charged at the higher fine amount. Jennifer Kallsen, the owner of one of the two dogs that attacked Adams, was the first to receive the increased fine amount when she was sentenced by County Court Judge Anne Paine in July, 2010, to a $500 fine. Several other vicious dog citations were issued and convicted following the increase and prior to Kallsen, including one issued to the second owner involved in the Adams attack, Richard Maris. Maris was convicted of vicious dog four days prior to the attack on Adams and sentenced only to a $20 fine in addition to the animal being ordered destroyed.

Because the attack on Adams happened within a ten-day grace period that Maris was given to euthanize the animal, City Attorney Nate Schneider told the Gazette in a phone interview, "We will be looking at immediate surrender of vicious dogs as a possibility for future cases."

Even though Councilman Hilker was found guilty of violating city ordinance 6-106, which states it would be unlawful for him to own an animal deemed potentially dangerous without a court order, there was no mention of such an order or in regards to surrendering the animal at his sentencing. Councilman Hilker told Paine that he planned to acquire a new harness style collar for the animal so that it could not get loose. The dog is a boxer and chihuahua mix, according to Hilker, and it did not bite anyone during the incident he was cited for. The dog reportedly made two aggressive approaches at an off-duty police officer and his wife, who were out for a walk, leading to the citation.

The application for federal assistance for the wildlife fence at McCook airport will be considered for approval. City Manager Kurt Fritsch told the Gazette, via email Thursday, that opting out of the $1.7 million project was not an option. "By not building the fence, which option we do not have (this is an FAA mandate and safety issue) it jeopardizes our Part 139 requirement allowing us to provide commercial service. They will remove that provision and we will be out of business. That is the answer plain and simple," said Fritsch.

Three public hearings are scheduled during Monday's meeting. The first authorizes an amendment to the purchase agreement between the city and Mid-Plains Community College for a portion of Kelley Park to be used for the events center construction project. The legal description of the property was incorrect in the original version. The second public hearing is focused on approval of the final plat and the third is required for approval of creating a subdivision, both are also for the events center project.

Other items on the consent and regular agenda;

* Approval of the sale of a portion of a city owned lot at 301 E. Second, to August Jones, will be considered for approval. City staff has asked for suspension of the three reading rule in order to meet the buyers timeline on finalizing the purchase.

* Updates and changes to the McCook Code of Ordinances will be presented for their third and final reading required for approval.

* Approval for the mayor to sign the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services contract for congregate meals, home delivered meals and transportation services, as well as the contract with American Medical Response for transportation of DHHS clients will be considered.

* The Telecommunications Site Lease Agreement, between the city and Alltel Communications of Nebraska, dba Verizon Wireless, for the placement of additional equipment on the west water tower will be considered for approval.

* May 15-21, 2011, will be considered for proclamation as Emergency Medical Services Week.

* The17 Ranch Winery, LTD, has requested a special liquor license for a McCook Art Guild fundraiser on June 4.

* MO Dough, LLC, has requested a special liquor license for a reception at Memorial Auditorium on August 27.

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Wouldn't this be a conflict of interest to vote on or event discuss for Councilman Hilker?

-- Posted by Rural Citizen on Fri, May 13, 2011, at 1:21 PM

Councilman Hilker's dog isn't the one that attacked the man filing the claim. According to the story, his dog is the one who scared a police officer and his wife.

-- Posted by McCook1 on Fri, May 13, 2011, at 1:35 PM

A boxer and chihauhuia mix????? That has to be one funny looking dog! And it makes me wonder which one was the female!!!


-- Posted by kaygee on Fri, May 13, 2011, at 4:53 PM

I'm just saying that Hilker has recently been in a similar situation and has an "unrestrained dangerous dog" himself.

Kaygee, EXACTLY!

-- Posted by Rural Citizen on Mon, May 16, 2011, at 4:28 PM

The male might have been the chihauhuia, but he brought a ladder along!

-- Posted by goarmy67 on Mon, May 16, 2011, at 4:46 PM

OK....didnt mean to start any thing ....but was just wondering!!!!! I would love to see a picture of a boxer/chihauahuia mix that could scare a police officer and his wife.

Were I come from ....police officers are much harder to intimidate........but what do I know?????

Is he a cujo foamin at the mouth type dog or did he just have his ladder with him?????



-- Posted by kaygee on Tue, May 17, 2011, at 9:27 PM

The point is Hilker's dog was not leashed, not restrained. Doesn't matter what type of dog. If you're casually walking and get "spooked" by a dog that is coming at you (regardless of size and mix), you're going to be a little scared not know the history of the dog. Little dogs can have big bites also.

As far as Adam's situation is concerned, I believe he has every right to seek damages. The City, the public, and dog owner's need to be more serious about ownership and being responsible for their actions.

-- Posted by Rural Citizen on Wed, May 18, 2011, at 8:25 AM

When I was growing up in that area and a dog bit me, we just washed it and that was it. There lot's of dog bites mostly riding our bicycles because there were no leash laws then. Sounds to me like the California sue mentality is now appearing in this area. SAD!

-- Posted by geewhiz on Wed, May 18, 2011, at 4:07 PM

Yes but geewhiz the dogs you had chasing and biting you were all mostly German Shepards, they weren't vicious like Baxer and Chiauahuia mix.

-- Posted by salamat on Wed, May 18, 2011, at 4:10 PM

Rural Citizen

I compleatly agree with you. Pets are a privliage and responsibility that should be taken seriously. I also know from personal expereance that small dogs are especally ferocious. I just happen to be difficult to intimidate. And I hav'nt met a dog yet that could do it!

You should know that I have a dog that is chow, husky and wolf mix. And a alpha-female. I keep a tight control over her and accept complete responibility for her actions. She is a VERY smart dog and was easily trained.(I tease my husband that she is smarter than he is!!) She is the best dog I could have ever been blessed with. But I also know I am a minority.

I have all ways beleived that people should be tested for their sense of responsibility and intelegence before they are allowed to have children, pets and house plants...etc!

Yes,the victim should press charges and hold the owners responsible.

There was just something about the parentage of the Hilker's dog that tickled my funny bone.

I wasnt trying to deny any one their rights or diminish their pain.

BUT.....I still want to see this dog! And his daddys ladder:^)!



-- Posted by kaygee on Wed, May 18, 2011, at 4:14 PM

How many dogs has anyone seen in McCook with Rabies?

-- Posted by Oh what a wonderful day on Wed, May 18, 2011, at 4:17 PM

Did he hav $50,000.00 worth of medical bills? Maybe they should have to pay for them but the lawyers are the ones who will reap the benefit.

-- Posted by Oh what a wonderful day on Wed, May 18, 2011, at 4:19 PM

A woman was walking by my house one day not long ago. She was advanced in years, and walking with a poodle that appeared quite old.

I have a fenced yard, and a scrawny black and white dog. My dog enjoys running back and forth along the fence as people walk by for some strange and child like reason...she has never been "aggressive" in her action, though my wife and I continuously try to stop the behavior.

This woman however decided that it would be OK for her to stop with her barking dog and stand and stare at my dog who was behind the fence. She stood there for 5 minutes seemingly taunting my dog. As the time progressed my dog became irritated that a poodle was standing outside the fence barking in her face, so she began barking back, and charging the fence.

The woman picked up her dog and walked off.

The next day the woman returned while I was pulling weeds in the garden. She asked if "This was my yard" to which, of course, I replied yes.

The then indicated that my dog was quite vicious, and had tried to attack her dog through the fence, as she and her dog were just walking by and my dog charged the fence and tried to attack them.

I asked the woman if she stopped at the fence and allowed her dog to taunt my dog, to which of course she replied no.

I then told her that I watched her through the window the previous day, and saw exactly what happened, I then asked that she no longer stood at the fence with her dog barking at my dog, as that type of behavior causes my dog to become more aggressive. I assured the woman that my dog has never and will never hurt anyone, so long as she is not plainly and purposly provoked.

I then asked her if it would be ok if she walked on the other side of the street when passing by.

Toward the end of the conversation, the truth came out in the womans curiosity. After my request, she asked "is that dog one of those pit bulls son". I asked her why she would ask that. She then said "that dog looks like one of those crazy pit bull's". I told the woman that she was being quite ridiculous, and that I had nothing more to say to her.

By the way, yes, my dog is a Stafford Shire Terrior. A wonderful dog that is very smart good with the children, and afraid of a breeze blowing through a curtain. Has never, would never, and doesn't even know how to hurt someone...but since she is a pit bull it must be ok to assume she is horrible!

-- Posted by cplcac on Thu, May 19, 2011, at 2:36 AM

cplcac, in this situation, the woman was wrong. Your dogs were in a controlled environment and she was taunting them. It's also wrong to assume that just because a dog is a pit bull, it's going to be vicious. ANY dog can be vicious if they feel intimidated or are threatened. The article is relating to dogs that were NOT restrained thus the owners need to be responsible.

Wonderful day, regardless of the cost of the medical bills, Adams sufferred. He is entitled to compensation of that sufferring.

-- Posted by Rural Citizen on Thu, May 19, 2011, at 8:50 AM

Kaygee, I have been reading these blogs for quite some time and have abstained from taking part in them for a multitude of reasons. However, I've given that up and find this a source of fine entertainment. I find that you and I come to similar conclusions on many ideas though our politics may differ slightly. I too have a dog that I consider to be of amazing intelligence (relatively speaking)! I keep her contained with a "pet fence" which is an underground wire. She was trained properly from the beginning and is given fair warning with a beep and a vibration when she gets within 6 feet of it. If she "loiters" she gets the lowest possible level of electric shock to which I can set the collar.

Now that you have background: I am with the posters that say dogs ARE a responsibility. If your dog is attacking another individual outside of your property line, you, the owner, are responsible for your dog's actions. However, I have had the opportunity also to watch people come close to the edge of the pet fence and see if they can get my dog to experience the electric shock! Not only does this negate all of the negative reinforcement I have instilled for the barking at passing walkers or motor vehicles, but it makes my dog look vicious (this the same dog that is quite possibly the most loving animal I have ever been around).

I am a runner and have had dogs "come after" me outside of their property lines and that is wrong. Had I been hurt, I would have expected fair and even compensation to get me back to where I was before the accident. The point I am trying to make here is that we are getting to a point in society where we are leaching monies and trying to put prices on "distress" and "feelings". How are these things measured? It sets a precedent. If the dog was destroyed, the owner probably feels punished enough. The only thing it will do is raise insurance premiums for everyone else by making his insurance company pay out exhorbitant amounts to someone.

-- Posted by speak-e-z on Thu, May 19, 2011, at 9:41 AM

I have found that unleashed vicious dogs can be easily controlled by placing a lead weight behind the left ear. Works every time.

-- Posted by Keda46 on Sun, May 22, 2011, at 2:21 AM

Are we talking a full ounce Keda46? Or will a 3/4 ounce suffice? Or is there a sliding scale based on the size of the vicious dog? Maybe one of those dogs requiring a ladder requires a larger weight d/t the amount of ferocity carried in their little hearts.

-- Posted by speak-e-z on Mon, May 23, 2011, at 8:00 AM

I get what you're saying, I'm dumb. You're talking grains, not ounces. Here I was trying to be funny. I always called that a lead injection.

-- Posted by speak-e-z on Mon, May 23, 2011, at 12:18 PM

10.7 grains of Blue Dot with a 225 grain cast bullet is sufficient. Thats ok speak-e-z, your not dumb, most people don't get my sick sense of humor.

-- Posted by Keda46 on Tue, May 24, 2011, at 11:26 AM

225 grains of lead will definitely make Fido play dead.

-- Posted by speak-e-z on Tue, May 24, 2011, at 11:47 AM

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