The city of Davenport has killed two dogs that bit off a mail carrier’s finger. Scott County Animal Control Director Robyn Dobernecker says it was a case with a long history and an uncooperative dog-owner. She says they’ve had several problems with that owner for years, and given him warnings, citations, impounded the dogs for running loose and not having shots but the man didn’t seem to understand he had to take responsibility for them. Dobernecker says people have mixed feelings about the role animal-control workers play. This time, because the attack was so serious and people read about it, people understand what Animal Control was doing and supported it. Dobernecker says she began cleaning kennels when she was 18, but has years of experience and several courses of training for her current job as senior animal control officer for the Humane Society of Scott County. She says police help and support the animal-control workers, too. She says they have a lot of tactics, mostly successful, for catching stray animals, and says the job’s come a long way from the days of the old dog catcher, and the law has also recognized the importance of their job. The job does carry its hazards, and Dobernecker says they include far more than being bitten. It’s dangerous because of the animals, but the people also, some of whom get upset when the workers catch their pet, talk to them about the laws or go to take an animal away. On September 18, officers say the two pit bulls were jumping against a gate that came open at the home of Jim Thorpe in Davenport. As the mail carrier held the gate shut to keep from being attacked, one dog bit off his finger, which was later reattached. Thorpe has been banned by the city from owning any more dogs for the next five years.
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