The difficult issue of a dog attack

Dogs have long been the best friends of humans, and most pet owners could agree that their four-legged children live up to this sentiment. There are, however, differences between a docile pet and an animal that is completely unmanageable. These dogs — whether their behavior is a result of abuse, poor training or other issue — can become highly dangerous. Dog attacks and bites are scary situations, and some Montana residents have, unfortunately, experienced this trauma. 

A 9-year-old girl was one such resident who experienced an attack in 2016. The Daily Inter Lake covered this story, in which the girl’s neighbor’s dog attacked her one afternoon as she played outside. The attack occurred after the girl attempted to grab her ball from the dog’s mouth, and resulted in 45 stitches to her face. Fortunately, the attack was not fatal, but to the shock of many, the dog faced no repercussions. After a bite, Montana law requires the animal to be quarantined; instead, the owner of the dog moved to a different town, where the city in which the attack occurred could not order the dog back. However, law enforcement doubted the dog would have faced euthanization since the attack occurred in his own yard. 

Cases such as the aforementioned incident may be difficult to pinpoint, but the Lewis and Clark County website outlines general information about the area’s dog control ordinance. According to this resource, all dogs in this district must remain under their owner’s control at all times — whether this is on the owner’s property, in a vehicle or on a leash. As for animal bites, the county website shares that, after the animal is quarantined, the owner must then pay to board the pet. If the owner refuses or is unable to fulfill this order, the animal could face euthanization. There are further guidelines that apply to vicious animals. Any situation that involves animal violence can be an overwhelming issue to tackle, but the end goal with state law is to keep all involved safe.