Dogs declared vicious after bite, pattern of neighborhood intimidation

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RICHMOND, Ind. – Two dogs are now considered vicious after a judgment on Thursday.

The city public works and safety department unanimously labeled the dogs vicious after hearing evidence that a neighbor was bitten and other neighbors were afraid to leave their homes. The dogs have been quarantined by HELP the Animals since they moved out of the Berry Fields neighborhood in August.

“I miss my pups and will do whatever I can to get them home,” said Darrell Martin, the dog’s owner.

Martin said he got married in April and moved to the 1600 block on Central Drive. At that time, another family was allowed to stay in the residence and these children were allowed to leave the dogs outside. This family left the residence, he said.

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Richmond Police Chief Mike Britt presented evidence to back up claims that the dogs are dangerous. Neighbors said the problems with the dogs began in April and continued consistently with multiple calls to the city’s animal welfare officer, Amber Martin, who also testified Thursday.

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Two 90-year-old neighbors, each attacked by the dogs, delivered letters for Thursday’s hearing. One said she fended off the dogs with a trash can. Britt also played a security video of the dogs trapping a delivery driver on a neighborhood porch until a woman has them leashed.

Finally, on August 18, neighbor Rex Marshall was bitten in the leg, requiring Reid Health to clean the wound. Marshall said the dogs previously also forced him and his grandchildren to return to his garage and lower the door to avoid attack.

After the bite, Amber Martin requested that the dogs be quarantined at the residence, but in the days that followed she was called into the neighborhood several times because the dogs were roaming free. She issued quotes twice, then quarantined the dogs with HELP.

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Darrell Martin said he visited the dogs on HELP daily. He presented a letter from the shelter saying the dogs had not behaved viciously there and a list of others who did not think the dogs were vicious.

Martin also said he installed a eight-foot fence around the property and bought muzzles and a kennel to hold the dogs back.

However, board members Vicki Robinson, Emily Palmer, and Matt Evans said the pattern of dogs roaming free, neighbors feeling threatened, and a bite that causes injury fit the city law’s definition of malignant.

The verdict triggers automatic conditions that Martin must meet before the dogs are returned. They are:

  • There must be a safe stable or structure for the dogs;
  • Outside the safe area, dogs must be leashed and controlled;
  • Outside the secure area, dogs must be muzzled with a device that prevents biting;
  • A sign must be posted on the premises to indicate that a vicious dog is present;
  • Martin must obey all dog-sitting laws;
  • The dogs must wear a yellow collar to indicate that they are considered vicious;
  • Martin must inform RPD within 24 hours if the dogs are released, attack someone or are no longer living in the residence; and
  • Martin must purchase at least $ 100,000 insurance to cover any damage the dogs could cause.

The dogs must also be neutered or neutered, up to date on vaccinations and properly registered with the city. Martin, who said he was going to pay Marshall’s medical bills, will also have to pay the confiscation costs.

This is the second time the board has classified dogs as vicious in two months.

Previously, three Chelsea Stock dogs were believed to be vicious after an August 5th incident in which they attacked a man who injured a hand while trying to escape; the dogs threatened others too.

One was shot in the leg while threatening an RPD officer who was reacting to the situation. The injured dog was treated and all three dogs were housed with HELP.

Five quotes were issued, three for dogs running freely and two for the lack of city marks.

Road closures

During Thursday’s meeting, the board approved road closures for the Westside Interceptor Sewer Improvement Project. The streets will be blocked in sections as construction progresses.

The affected areas are Sheridan Street between North West E and North West G Streets and North West First and South West First Streets between Madden Court and 400 feet south of Main Street.

This is the third and fourth phases of the project and is expected to last until the end of 2022.