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Dog deemed vicious will get another chance, in Ohio

Pit bull terrier that killed couple’s cat can’t live in FD

A dog deemed vicious by the city of Fort Dodge has been given a second chance at life by the city’s Board of Animal Appeals.

In November 2017, a pit bull terrier owned by Nash Wheaton and Mariah Hocking reportedly hopped the fence of a yard belonging to Robert Hagan and Sandra Junkman. Once inside the yard, located along Third Avenue North, the dog attacked and killed a cat owned by the Fort Dodge couple.

“He leaped over the fence and landed on my cat,” Junkman recalled.

Junkman suffered cuts to her hand from trying to separate the dog and cat, Hagan said.

It also entered the couple’s home, according to Junkman.

In recent weeks, apparently, Hocking said the dog has been with her in Ohio.

She brought the dog back to Fort Dodge for the hearing in the second floor conference room of the Municipal Building Wednesday afternoon.

Hocking said the dog does well around people and has never hurt anyone.

Jacob Naatz, the Fort Dodge police officer who handled the case, said in his experience with the animal it was not aggressive towards people.

Naatz said he has dealt with the dog on more than one occasion. He said each time, the dog harmed or attempted to harm another animal.

According to city code, a dog is considered vicious when it kills another domesticated animal without provocation.

“There is no question the dog killed another animal and did it without provocation,” Fort Dodge City Attorney Mark Crimmins said.

Board members Dr. Michael Bottorff and Bob Martin were the only board members in attendance, so the decision on the dog had to be unanimous.

Bottorff is a veterinarian in Fort Dodge.

The board determined the dog vicious, but is allowing Wheaton and Hocking to pick the animal up from the Almost Home Humane Society of North Central Iowa today.

Hocking is to take the dog back to Ohio, where it is to remain.

According to Bottorff, if the dog is seen or heard from in Webster County again, it will be put down.

“We’re all animal lovers here,” Bottorff said. “We don’t want to see the dog destroyed.”