This story just breaks my heart:
Portsmouth Dog Ordered Destroyed Following Attack
Owner Previously Cited For Letting Dogs Roam Free
POSTED: 4:31 pm EST December 13, 2005
PORTSMOUTH, N.H. -- A Portsmouth dog that bit a man and his daughter after fighting with the man's dog was ordered destroyed on Tuesday.
The city's Animal Control Commission ordered that the 123-pound Newfoundland mix, named Bear, be destroyed. The dog attacked another dog in its neighborhood on Nov. 7 and then bit that dog's owner and his 14-year-old daughter when the man tried to break up the fight.
Tina Hickman, Bear's owner, described the dog as a big, friendly mutt that she has let run free for the past six years.
"I just think it's wrong," Hickman said. "I don't think Bear got a fair trial."
Commission members said that putting Bear down was the only way to keep people in the area safe.
"I believe that the city needs to take control of the animal to make sure the dog is not a threat, and I think the only safe thing to do is euthanize him," Police Chief Michael Magnant said.
The controversy over Bear's fate has spread to local newspapers. Hickman has fought for her dog but admitted she should have kept better control over him.
"Being an irresponsible pet owner -- I'll say I was," Hickman said. "Maybe I should take better steps of trying to control him. But we have kids in the house all the time. We have people in and out all the time."
Hickman was served papers on Tuesday that certified Bear as being a vicious dog. Last week, Hickman refused to surrender the dog to the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, so the city is getting a court order to take control of the animal and have it destroyed.
The people who were attacked didn't want to be interviewed, saying they feel bad about the situation.
Hickman has been cited several times for letting her dogs run free but said that her actions shouldn't lead to the death of her dog.
"I just don't think he should be put to sleep just because I was irresponsible," she said.
The commission gave no specific timetable for when the dog would be removed and eventually destroyed.