Pit bull attacks family and animal control officer

OKEECHOBEE — A woman who was apparently taking care of a pit bulldog for a friend was issued a citation by an animal control officer after the dog allegedly attacked a family, and that officer.

According to a report by Deputy Mark Margerum, of the Okeechobee County Sheriff’s Office (OCSO), the dog was running loose Saturday, Nov. 28, when around 1:50 p.m. it tried to bite a man.

The deputy said the dog became aggressive as the man and his family were walking to the front door of their N.W. 35th Avenue home in Basswood.
The report went on to state the dog not only tried to attack the man, but his wife and baby also.

“As the dog came after them, (he) was able to grab a piece of scrap wood and fend the dog off enough to retreat to their vehicle,” stated the deputy. “(He) said this was the second time the dog had gotten loose and been aggressive.”

The 32-year-old man went on to tell the deputy he was afraid for his family and what could happen to them if he wasn’t home.

Deputy Margerum pointed out that Okeechobee County Animal Control Officer Myna Simmons responded and when she tried to catch the pit bull, the dog tried to attack her. She was able to protect herself by keeping the dog restraint pole between her and the animal.

The pit bull eventually ran into a home next door where it was trapped inside the home when the outside door was secured, Deputy Margerum stated.

OCSO Deputy Arlene Durbin, who heads up animal control, said a woman who was supposed to be taking care of the dog for its owner was issued a ‘dog at large’ citation.

When asked if an animal control officer would have normally taken the dog, Deputy Durbin said “… an aggressive dog like this, yes.” However, continued Deputy Durbin, she wasn’t sure why at this point Officer Simmons did not take the animal to the animal control shelter.

She went on to say the investigation is continuing.

Eric Kopp is a staff writer for the Okeechobee News

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