Wednesday, October 10, 2001
The state Court of Appeals took a bite out of Hood River County's outdated dog enforcement ordinance this week by freeing an animal on Death Row.
"Hood River County is going to have to conduct a wholesale revision of its dog control ordinance," said Robert Babcock, the lawyer for Mo Stevenson, the owner of "Kiss-Kiss."
Kiss-Kiss, the Chow-Shar Pei mix, was released from nearly 17 months of incarceration following the Oct. 3 court ruling that private citizens have no legal standing to enforce dog ordinances.
The county did not send legal counsel to argue in the case, but Judge Paul Crowley's facts about the May 27, 2000 attack involving Kiss-kiss were found to be accurate, according to Babcock. (Stevenson declined personal comment.)
Instead, arguments in the higher court centered on the origin of the complaint, which was filed by Susan Farber, who has since moved out of Hood River.
Based on her eyewitness account of Kiss-Kiss' conduct, Crowley had determined that the canine had acted in a "vicious and dangerous manner" and needed to be destroyed.
The case began when Farber was walking a leashed Golden Retriever named "Wags" for his owner, Rod Windle, about 100 yards from the Stevenson residence on Highline Drive.
Farber said Kiss-Kiss reportedly ran into the roadway and began mauling Wags, which immediately took a submissive posture and did not fight back. After she was forced to get help from the dog's owner to separate the two animals, Farber filed a complaint with the county.
According to veterinary reports, Wags' tail had to be amputated because of massive bite and puncture wounds to her hindquarters. However, in published reports, Stevenson contended that Wags lost her tail because her owner used a rusty hoe to break up the dogfight.
Although the county dog ordinance, which was adopted in June of 1979, allowed Farber to pursue the case, more recent state law led the appeals court to determine she had no authority for that action.
"In conclusion, although the county ordinance permits a private party to initiate a proceeding for violation of the dog control ordinances, (state law) specifically does not allow such initiation of violation proceedings in state circuit court," the appeals court wrote.
County counsel Teunis Wyers could not be reached for comment before press time.
The court vacated Crowley's decision to destroy Kiss-Kiss and Stevenson was allowed to pay the more than
$4,000 tab for his care and bring him home to Hood River without further sanctions.
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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"
Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See www.co.hood-river.or.us to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge