Owner Concerned About Dog's Future After Attack

Friday, December 28th 2007, 9:57 am
By: News On 6

A Tulsa woman is worried what will become of her beloved pet now that he's been quarantined by animal control. News On 6 crime reporter Lori Fullbright reports the dog attacked an ONG meter reader on Thursday, after the man jumped a fence to enter the backyard. Everyone involved says the dog is not to blame, but the owner is still going to have to pay.

"He's a very loving, big dog, but sweet," said Christine Maafala who is the dog’s owner.

Christine Maafala says her dog Warlock is just a big couch potato who spends almost all day indoors, but Thursday morning, he saw a threat in his backyard. An ONG meter reader taking a shortcut, jumped over the fence, and came face-to-face with all 147-pounds of the Mastiff.

"It was just wrestling back and forth and the man was hurting and his arm was hurting. We got the water hose and I sprayed it in my dog's nose so he would open up a little bit and I told the man try to get out your jacket because we was close to the edge of the fence again," said Maafala.

The 20-minute struggle landed the meter reader in the hospital and Warlock in the pound. Now the 7-year-old pet will be spending the next week and a half at the Tulsa animal shelter. City ordinance requires any dog that bites someone, will spend ten days in quarantine to make sure he doesn't have rabies.

"And he don't understand why he's in there, you know? To him he did the right thing. You know, protecting us, protecting his territory," said Maafala.

An animal control investigator is taking a look at the case.

"In this case the dog was in his yard, minding his own business, the guy jumps in his yard, and then he reacts and bites the guy," said Animal Control Investigator Jake Wilson.

The animal control investigator working the case says he considers this bite provoked and it generally takes three unprovoked bites for animal control to consider a dog dangerous. He says the only way a dog would be euthanized after an attack, is if a judge ruled the animal vicious.

"The way we're looking at it, the dog's not at fault. He was just reacting on his own property, so there won't be any criminal charges filed on the dog or the owner," said Wilson.

That doesn't mean Warlock's owner is off the hook. Animal control says Maafala will get a $75 ticket because he wasn't neutered. She'll also have to pay for his room and board at the shelter. All told, Warlock's scrape with the meter reader will cost her $197, but to his owner that's not the most difficult part.

"You know he's never been away from us, so it's going to be hard on him too, and it's hard on the kids," said Maafala.

ONG says the meter reader is resting at home, after getting 30 stitches. They say customers can opt to read their own meters or can pay $75 for an electronic device that will do it remotely.

Watch the video: Dog Owner Concerned About Pet's Future

Related story:

12/27/2007 Meter Reader Attacked By Dog