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Police say the dog they are looking for is brown, with light tan coloring on its chest and neck. Lind estimated that the dog weighed 70 pounds. Lind said the woman is black, about 40 years old, 5 feet 6 to 5 feet 8 inches tall, medium build and with her hair in a ponytail. A police bulletin put the woman’s height as 5 feet 1 inches to 5 feet 4 inches. Chief Ohotto said the bulletin’s height estimate was taken at the scene and likely would not be as accurate as the one provided Tuesday by Lind.
Anyone with information about this case is asked to call Minneapolis Animal Control at 612-370-1434. Lind said she is offering a $300 reward for information leading to the woman and the dog.
“Animal Care and Control [personnel], park police and city police are all out looking for this woman and her dog,” Sommers said.
Range of declarations
State and local laws say that domestic animals that have bitten or “demonstrated aggression” must be investigated to determine whether that animal is a threat to the public and should be declared “dangerous” by Animal Control.
Such declarations are determined based on the severity of the incident, including serious bites and unprovoked aggressive behavior.
There are three categories of declarations: potentially dangerous, dangerous and destruct order.
According to the city, instances annually of dogs biting people in since 2009 have ranged from 371 to 413, with 59 to 87 of them having inflicted serious injury.
The city did not have available Tuesday data on dogs biting other dogs. Ohotto said those incidents “are not that common and are not frequently reported to police.” More often, he added, officials are alerted to dogs biting humans, with the pet owners “cooperative and contrite,” unlike what apparently unfolded Sunday.
“The absolute worst part of this is that this adult didn’t intervene when this dog was attacking,” the chief said. “She didn’t try to call her dog off or try to pull her dog away. … She left knowing her dog had injured another person and killed another dog.”
Animal law attorney Katy Bloomquist said that if the dog had a history of aggression, it should have been muzzled or controlled by an adult, not a child.
It’s likely Julene Lind and her husband could be compensated for the value of their dog but little else, Bloomquist said.
“It’s very small, and those types of damages don’t even begin to cover the level of loss,” for losing a pet that way, she said. The bite, she said, would likely be covered by homeowners insurance.
Martin Luther King Park was at the center of an extensive debate a few years back over whether to build an off-leash dog park there. Civil rights activists blocked its construction in 2011, after black residents said allowing dogs to run free there would denigrate the legacy of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., whose nonviolent demonstrations during the Civil Rights Era were attacked by police in the South who at times used snarling dogs.