Clock starts ticking on dangerous dogs
The clock is officially counting for two Austin residents who had their pets classified as dangerous dogs earlier this month by the Austin city council.
Austin Police Chief Brian Krueger said that Laura Marsolek, 23, and Jessica Hnatyszyn, 23, were served paperwork Wednesday for an incident between their dogs Aug. 5 in Lansing Township. The two women have 14 days to comply with seven city guidelines — including one that requires public liability insurance in the minimum of $300,000 — or else the dogs could be destroyed.
The two canines, a lab/Australian Shepherd mix and a pit bull, are currently being held at the pound, where Community Service Officer Ernesto Cantu has said both have exhibited aggressive behavior.
In the Aug. 5 incident, Hnatyszyn was bitten by Marsolek's pit bull while trying to stop the dogs from fighting; she had marks on her thigh and lost part of a finger. However, the two women still feel that their dogs aren't a threat and appealed an earlier judgement from the city council, to no avail.
"I have never witnessed my dog be aggressive," Marsolek told the city council. "It was definitely not an intentional bite."
On Sept. 6, city council member Steve King said it's "disturbing" how often Austin has had to deal with dangerous dogs in recent months. The appeals from Marsolek and Hnatyszyn were the third and fourth of 2012, while there have been 18 incidents in Austin since January 2011 in which pit bulls have been involved in biting or aggressive behavior, according to information from the Austin Police Department.