Saturday, May 23, 2009

Dealing With Dogs

I admit it, I've simply had it with dogs and I'm refusing to deal with them anymore. If a dog chases me on rural roads beyond their property and on to the roads in an attack mode, and do not respond to a "GO HOME" shouted at them, I'm calling the Sheriff's Department of that county to report them. I simply don't have time or the will to talk to every individual dog owner anymore.

Since CDV was bitten a couple weeks ago, he's been pretty gun shy on the roads when it comes to dogs. Today got my guard up a little as well. CDV, Kathy R., and myself were headed up towards Spink. Kathy had no more talked about dogs that had come at her last June and here they came. I was hoping they would remain on their property, but it wasn't to be. They worked damn well as a team too. While I was yelling at the one on my right to go home, I suddenly felt hot breath as I had one nipping at my left heel. I accelerated to get away but CDV had already dismounted and was using his bike as a shield between himself and the dog. That worked for one, but like I said, they were working VERY well in pairs and Craig had his head on a swivel watching both dogs. He slowly walked down the road watching the dogs, with his dog spray in one hand.

The dogs didn't give up for the better part of a half mile. I didn't settle down all day about the incident. When we got around to Elk Point I called the Sheriff's Office. There were supposedly going to contact me later. They didn't. I called back later in the evening and I received a "Um, I'm not sure, but we had a deputy in the area and I *think* he talked to them." Um...not good enough. I turned it up a notch by emailing. We will see if I get a response. The email? Allow me to make it public here for conversation:

Dear Union County Sheriff's Department:

Today at about 1:45 pm, between 317th and 316th street on the Spink Oil (473rd Ave.) we had a major dog incident. As bicyclists, we have encounters with dogs and are skilled in how to handle them. Most of them, with a simple "GO HOME" will turn tail and go home. Most never leave their yards and are just protecting their property line. These two dogs did not respond to many very loud "GO HOME" yells and were very aggressively bearing their teeth and working as a team to approach me on each side of the bike, one nipping at my left heel.

My friend, Craig DeVelder, dismounted his bike as he was recently bit by a dog in Meckling, SD and is understandably a little "dog shy". He was keeping his bike between himself and the dogs as we know as the best method from articles we have read and from other riders. These dogs did NOT tire of the chase as he continued to walk his bike away from them. The dogs were no less than a 1/4 mile away from their farm and closer to a 1/2 mile before they gave up finally.

Kathy Roberts from McCook Lake, who was also with us today, has had a run in last June with these same dogs and stated that the owner was outside and managed to get one of the two back but one still was on the road before it finally turned around.

Based on SD Codified Law 40-34-14, I see no reason for these dogs to not be on record as vicious dogs. To save you having to look it up it is copied below:

40-34-14. Vicious dog defined. For the purposes of §§ 40-34-13 to 40-34-15, inclusive, a vicious dog is:

(1) Any dog which, when unprovoked, in a vicious or terrorizing manner approaches in apparent attitude of attack, or bites, inflicts injury, assaults, or otherwise attacks a human being upon the streets, sidewalks, or any public grounds or places; or
(2) Any dog which, on private property, when unprovoked, in a vicious or terrifying manner approaches in apparent attitude of attack, or bites, or inflicts injury, or otherwise attacks a mailman, meter reader, serviceman, journeyman, delivery man, or other employed person who is on private property by reason of permission of the owner or occupant of such property or who is on private property by reason of a course of dealing with the owner of such private property.

Source: SL 1988, ch 330, § 2.

There is no doubt in my mind that these dogs are both well within the realms of being labeled vicious and I would appreciate them being labeled as such. I refuse to give up one of our training routes because of dogs. Once these dogs came on the road and were nipping at my heels, the line was clearly crossed. Attached are some pictures that Kathy Roberts took during our ride today.

Please feel free to contact me anytime for further information or to inform me of the action that was taken in this complaint. I have also cc'd Craig and Kathy so you have their emails if you have further questions as well.


Kevin Brady
Vice President, South Dakota Bicycle Coalition
*town - zip*


Kathy said...

I am so glad I am a scrapbooker - it came in handy today. Too bad I couldn't snap a pic when the one was at my right leg. That is a pic that will be in my brain forever, just not on camera.

Snakebite said...

Want to borrow my dog whip?

Anonymous said...

I do believe I would keep reminding the Sheriffs office until something gets done. Just what the hell is "Umm, I think a Deputy talked to them" supposed to do?????

bikingbrady said...

Kathy - I hear you. The pic in my mind of him grabbing at my heel is crystal clear.

Snakebite - We actually talked about that after the attack. That or one of those collapsible police batons. CDV wants a gun though.

Mayor - That is exactly the reason for the E-mail. Even if the dispatcher didn't mean it the way he said it, it was still the wrong answer.

Herself, the GeekGirl said...

Ahhhh, rural life. Those look like hunting dogs. I think you're fighting an uphill battle trying to get South Dakotans to keep their dogs contained, but good luck to you.

CDV said...

I will NEVER forgot the look of that last dog before he attacked. I have woke up more than once having a nightmare about it.

Bruce's Bike Blog said...

Hi Kevin,

Mean dogs on our routes are gone, thank goodness--they got hit by cars and killed finally. Still, when ever we ride down that stretch or road, we shutter.

Cheers! Bruce