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RB couple ordered to muzzle dogs, get insurance

first_imgIt labeled both dogs – Jack, described as part-pit bull, part-shepherd; and Cher, a Labrador-border collie mix – “potentially dangerous,” and spelled out 10 conditions for the couple to keep them. The city of Redondo Beach held a hearing Monday in response to complaints that one or both dogs had killed at least three pet cats along Avenue D. Former City Attorney Jerry Goddard, representing Redondo Beach as a consultant, presented Widman with documents dating to April 2004, when animal control authorities first reported that a dog at the Haueters’ address had attacked a cat. Resident Raoul Rodriquez described watching both animals tear apart his 12-year-old feline, Toes, after they got loose in June. “It kind of puts (Haueter) on notice that he can’t just let his dogs out anymore,” Rodriquez said. By Kristin S. Agostoni STAFF WRITER A hearing officer umpiring a dispute over two Redondo Beach dogs has decided both canines pose a significant public safety threat, and that their owners must purchase liability insurance, pay special fees and muzzle the animals during walks. Lance Widman, a Hermosa Beach school trustee who runs a South Bay dispute resolution service, issued his four-page ruling Thursday concerning the animals owned by Chris and Melissa Haueter. At the hearing in City Council chambers, Chris Haueter was apologetic and didn’t dispute the fact that his pit bull-shepherd mix had killed other animals, including backyard possums and squirrels. Although both of his dogs were subject to the hearing and Widman’s subsequent ruling, Jack was blamed for most of the incidents. Haueter told Widman the canine’s hunting instinct had taken over, but that he would never harm humans. “We will do our best to comply with the recommendations,” he said Thursday, adding that he didn’t want to give up either animal. “Anyone is welcome to come meet my dogs,” he said. But Melissa Haueter questioned how the couple would be able to live up to the order, which mandates that they secure $100,000 in liability insurance, plus pay the city $500 per year per dog in “dangerous animal” fees. “It doesn’t look promising that we’re going to be able to be insured with any animal that’s labeled as potentially dangerous,” she said. “I don’t know what we’re going to do.” And even though she admitted Jack had a hunting instinct, she questioned why their female Labrador-border collie mix – described as one-tenth pit bull – was also subject to the order. “How do they say that Cher applies?” she asked. “What did Cher do?” In weighing the testimony this week, Widman said he was convinced that both animals engaged in previous acts that posed a public safety threat in the community. The ruling also forces the couple to “securely contain” the animals on their property, whether it be by building a fence or kennel or leaving them inside a garage, Widman said. The dogs must wear muzzles when walked on leashes. Assistant City Attorney Cheryl Park, who advised Widman throughout the administrative hearing, said the Haueters have the option of appealing the decision in Los Angeles Superior Court. The ordeal in Redondo Beach follows two other recent dog scares in the South Bay. Early last week, a pit bull mauled a Torrance mail carrier, and last Friday a pair of others terrorized two Gardena children who were out walking their Jack Russell terriers. The children escaped injury, although a neighbor broke her leg while running from the dogs and a police car crashed en route to the scene. [email protected] local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more