Pit bull owners always keep their animals locked up…..
MUSKEGON, MI – A Muskegon Heights man’s leisurely stroll in Muskegon ended with him climbing on top of a parked sport utility vehicle on Monday.
The 29-year-old was trying to evade an aggressive dog he believes was a pit bull that began chasing him in the 700 block of Marcoux Avenue. The dog, which police described as a 50-pound pit bull, eluded authorities for an hour before Muskegon County Vector Control was able to capture it.
It’s the most recent of several loose dog-related incidents that police have had to respond to recently in Muskegon.
In Monday’s incident, which occurred around noon, the Muskegon Heights man jumped on top of a small sport utility vehicle parked in the driveway next to the dog owner’s home and climbed up onto the vehicle’s roof as the dog continued to jump up and growl at him.
“He scared me so bad, I turned back around and hauled,” the man said, declining to give his name. “I was walking down the street and he started closing on me. It ran after me.”
The man was not bitten by the dog.
Two Muskegon police officers and Meletta McClure, a Muskegon County Vector Control deputy, were on the scene trying to coax the dog toward them.
The dog barked at both patrol officers and refused the treats thrown toward it by McClure. Its tail was between its legs and it appeared nervous and agitated.
McClure and Muskegon Police Officer Scott Hepworth used nooses attached to long poles to capture the dog on the back deck of the home. The dog wasn’t injured. It was placed in the Vector Control vehicle and taken from the scene.
McClure, who has been with Vector Control for 15 years, said she responds to at least five calls a day in the county involving loose or dangerous dogs. When asked if the city of Muskegon has an issue specifically with unleashed and unlicensed dogs, McClure responded: “We do.”
Muskegon Police Officer Casey Bringedahl, who is part of the department’s Neighborhood Response Team, was first to the scene. He tried to keep the dog in the area and away from others near the scene.
A neighbor to the home where the dog had been living said the dog has been at the residence for about two months and likely jumped out of the home’s living room window that didn’t have a screen on it.
Dog taken away from Muskegon home Dog taken away from Muskegon home City of Muskegon police officers Scott Hepworth and Casey Bringedahl along with Meletta McClure, a Muskegon County Vector Control deputy captured a loose and possibly dangerous dog in the 700 block of Marcoux Avenue in the early afternoon on Monday, September 10, 2012. Watch video
The front and back yard of the home was covered with trash. The dog owner only came out of the house after a family member arrived to the home and broke a window in the front door to get his attention. He spoke with police officers at the scene about an hour after they had been there, trying to capture the dog.
The man’s neighbor said the dog is always running loose and she fears for the safety of her small dog and her 2-year-old daughter.
“It’s always running around loose. To my knowledge it hasn’t bit anybody, but I’ve told my neighbors they need to keep the dog out of my yard,” the woman said.
The city has had a busy summer involving pit bulls and other loose dogs, police have said.
An unlicensed pit bull that attacked a Muskegon resident in June and bit a city police officer was shot and killed by another officer. It was the third pit bull since April that was shot by Muskegon police, who have been responding to a high number of loose dog calls this year.
Dogs that aren’t tied up or locked inside a home pose a risk to the public and police officers who have to respond to the calls, authorities said. Per the city’s animal ordinance, a pit bull is considering a dangerous animal and has to be properly secured or the owner could be cited.
It wasn’t clear whether the man who owned the dog involved in Monday’s incident was cited. A man inside the home was taken into police custody on an unrelated charge.