Many cities around the state could be reviewing their animal control rules after this weekend’s dog attack in eastern Iowa that killed a three-year-old girl. It happened in the town of Hopkinton. Two Rottweilers owned by the girl’s grandfather somehow got out of a secure kennel. Hopkinton already does not allow residents to keep Staffordshire terriers, or any type of pit bull, in the city as a pet. City leaders plan to discuss adding Rottweilers and Rottweiler mixed breeds to the list.
Jody and Lisa Davis of Hopkinton own a Rottweiler/German Shepherd mixed breed named “Zeus.” They plan to fight any effort to get their dog out of town. “It’s not just a breed thing, it’s how the animals are raised,” Jody Davis said. “In my 42 years I’ve never seen such a (dog attack) happen.” Lisa added: “It’s a tragedy what happened to (the girl), but I don’t see how my dog was at fault. Why should other owners with dogs, like mixes or full breds, be responsible for that?”
Hopkinton Mayor Cathy Harris says if the city bans Rottweilers, it won’t be an easy decision. “Where do you draw the line on any of these animals? I mean, even small dogs can attack you,” Harris said. “I guess a Rottweiler just has that reputation of being a vicious dog.”
Hopkinton City Council member Bob Porter lives next door to the house where the girl was killed. He said the dogs appeared to be well cared for, in a secured area and never caused any problems except for occasional barking. Rhonda Marty, the mother of victim Vanessa Husmann, said her daughter was “never left unattended with the dogs. Somehow they had gotten out on their own.”
Marty speculated that the dogs might have dug underneath the fence surrounding the kennel. She added that her daughter participated in some of the care and feeding of the Rottweilers with her father Vaughn Husmann, so she was familiar with the dogs.
By Dave Franzman, KCRG-TV, Cedar Rapids