Dangerous dogs

Several residents voiced questions and concerns about dangerous dogs at the May 10 meeting of Emsworth Council, just two weeks after a teenage Emsworth girl was bitten by a loose dog.

On April 30, a 15-year-old girl, walking down an Emsworth street, was bitten on the leg by a dog who came off its owner's Walliston Street property. The girl was transported to a hospital by ambulance.

“The 10-day quarantine of the dog has ended,” one person stated during the public comments portion of the meeting and asked what the borough was doing to prevent a possible repeat attack. Another individual questioned the borough's liability should that same dog attack a person or animal. Also, questions were asked concerning whether sufficient documentation of the incident had been prepared. That the borough should initiate restrictive ordinances concerning dogs, was suggested.

Council president Kevin Yurkovich explained that Pennsylvania has dog laws already in place, and that a borough could not pass ordinances that would supercede state law. The borough’s solicitor emphasized that dog bites and aggressive dogs are regulated by state laws, and offenses are handled by police.

Ohio Township Police Chief Micklos said that the dog's owner would be cited. “Everything that can possibly be done, has been done,” he said.

The dog was placed under quarantine for 10 days inside the owner's house. A 10-day quarantine is required, Micklos explained, and “we (Ohio Township Police) don't have facilities to do that.”

Council was asked what should someone do if the dog gets loose again.

Yurkovich answered, “Personally, I'd call 911 if the dog is loose or if its leash allows it to reach the sidewalk.

“If we're attacked, there's no time to call the police,” someone commented.

“We feel terrible it happened,” Yurkovich responded. “I understand your frustration. We do the best we can as elected officials. But there is nothing legally we can do.”