Dangerous Dog Seized from Reckless Owner
A dog deemed dangerous by the Nebraska Humane Society is taken from an Omaha home because its owner did nothing to comply.
In November, Mary Thompson was walking her dogs near 67th & Hamilton St. when her 3-year-old Buddy, was attacked by a Pitbull that ran out of a home. The dog continued to attack Buddy until a neighbor grabbed and physically carried the pitbull away from the other dog. Buddy’s legs were wounded, and he has since healed from his injuries.
The owners were cited and told the dog was being designated as a Dangerous Dog. That means they had to get it fixed, microchipped, insured, and they had to take a class. The Nebraska Humane Society said the owner did nothing required, so they deemed Gustavo Santiago a reckless owner, and seized the animal this month.
"The vast majority of potentially dangerous dog owners are great to work with,” said Mark Langan, the Vice President of Field Operations for the Nebraska Humane Society. "This is the absolute last resort, and we gave this individual a 60 day extension on these requirements. The last thing in the world we wanted to do was confiscate this dog. We don't like having to do that, that's one of the worst parts of our job. Even with the extensions he just blatantly refused to do any of the requirements."
Mary says the pitbull, named Smalls, may have had multiple owners in his short life and wishes they would've taken better care of the animal. She said the ordeal was terrifying.
"It was horrifying, this is my baby these are both of my babies,” Thompson explained. "When you own a dog like that there are responsibilities, a lot of responsibilities that come with it."
The Nebraska Humane Society says Smalls' aggressiveness poses a threat to public safety, so they can't adopt it out. They will euthanize him.
There are currently 50 reckless owners in Omaha, which means they can't own an animal for 4 years. The Reckless Dog Owner and Dangerous Dog ordinance went into effect in 2008.
The former owners of the dog no longer lived at the address which was listed, so they weren’t reached for comment.