More charges being considered in dog mauling

July 18, 2013
Doris Daugherty sits with Angel, a 10-year-old peekapoo, at the vet’s office Wednesday night after it was mauled by a neighbor’s dog in Canton Township. Angel died early Thursday from the wounds suffered in the attack.

Animal control officers are considering filing a more serious charge against the man whose Rottweiler mauled his neighbor’s dog after the smaller pet died from its wounds early Thursday.

Angel, the 10-year-old peekapoo owned by Kim Daugherty, died about 5 a.m. while being treated at the Washington Animal Hospital.

The dog had been mauled Tuesday night by a Rottweiler owned by Clifford Ayers, who lives next door to the Daugherty family on Barnett Street in Canton Township. Kym Secreet, the township’s animal control officer, had already filed a citation against Ayers for failing to confine or control his dog, but she said the more serious “dangerous dog” charge could be added.

“(The Rottweiler) might be friendly toward people, but the dog is obviously animal aggressive and for whatever reason it didn’t like that little dog,” Secreet said. “That little dog is dead, and I’m not happy about that.”

She said John Sheldon, the state’s dog officer, would make the final ruling on whether to file the more serious charge.

A witness told Secreet that she saw the Rottweiler sticking his head under the fence and had the peekapoo in its mouth. But Ayers said he doubts that happened because his dog is on a chain in the middle of the yard several feet away from the fence. He thinks the peekapoo came into his yard because he found droppings that appeared to come from a much smaller dog.

“My dog was nowhere near that fence line,” Ayers said. “My dog was in my yard on a chain, and (their) dog comes into my yard. Why am I responsible if you can’t control your dog? I shouldn’t be held responsible for something that ain’t my fault.”

Secreet said she believes Ayers should still be held accountable and be required to pay for the medical bills that topped $1,200 as of Wednesday.

“When you’re an animal owner, it’s an extra responsibility,” she said. “It’s personal property and you’re responsible for whatever happens.”

The Daugherty family was distraught with the death of their dog Thursday morning, but thanked Secreet for her work and veterinarian John Hansell for his attempts to save their pet.

They asked that any donations be made in Angel’s name and sent to the Washington Animal Hospital at 457 Tyler Ave.

Mike Jones has been a news reporter since 2005, covering crime, state and municipal government, education and energy. In addition to working at the Observer-Reporter, he also has spent time at the Charleston (W.Va.) Daily Mail and He holds a journalism degree from West Virginia University.

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