When Friday dawned, David Taylor of Hannibal was prepared to appeal Thursday’s ruling that his 6-year-old pitbull, Moose, was a dangerous dog. However, by 4 p.m. Thursday, Taylor said it appeared an appeal to the city manager would be pointless.
As a “dangerous dog,” Moose’s owner or keeper is required by the city to maintain liability insurance of at least $100,000 for injury, death or property damage. Taylor explained he could not find an insurance agent willing to provide the necessary coverage.
Because he’s unable to secure the insurance, a glum Taylor acknowledged Friday afternoon that he would have to find a new home for his dog outside the city limits.
“I’m not going to put him down,” he said in a soft voice.
Earlier Friday Taylor was hopeful he might have better luck appealing to City Manager Jeff LaGarce.
“We just want to get him ‘undeclared’ a dangerous animal because he’s not. Moose is not aggressive,” said Taylor. “He’s a perfect watch dog. You want a watch dog that will bark its ass off.”
Lori Bono, David and Kristi Taylor’s daughter, applauded her parents’ initial decision to appeal Thursday’s ruling.
“I want a city meeting, to let the city get involved,” she said. “Here’s all these people that want to say he’s so dangerous, but none of them want to meet him.”
If LaGarce had not rescinded the designation the matter could have been appealed to the City Council.
Thursday’s “dangerous dog” designation was made by Police Chief Lyndell Davis two days after his review of statements by College Avenue neighbors and mail carriers who have delivered in that area, along with other pertinent information.
While a “dangerous dog” declaration does not prohibit the owner from keeping the animal there are strict guidelines, such as maintaining the necessary insurance, that the owner must adhere to or run the risk of having the animal seized by the city.
Bono, who since midweek has been keeping Moose at her New London Gravel Road residence that is inside the city, indicated she was prepared to do “whatever it takes” to keep the dog.
“He’s part of my family. Would you expect somebody to tell you to put your kid down because he’s bad? That’s how I feel,” she said. “They’re telling me to put my brother down. To me he’s my brother because my mom and dad raised him.”
Page 2 of 2 - Bono believes Moose is a victim of breed discrimination.
“It’s totally against pits, which isn’t right. It all depends on how you treat and raise a dog,” she said.