LOA — The Wayne County Sheriff’s Office is releasing information about a dog bite following criticism and even threatening language being posted on social media.
The bite was reported Oct. 2.
“It is important to know that the bite was not a nip, it was an extremely serious bite,” said Wayne County Sheriff Dan Jensen in a Facebook post. The sheriff included pictures of the bite, which included bruising and puncture wounds that hadn’t completely healed after nearly a month.
The night the bite occurred, the victim had been a guest in the home of the dog’s owner, according to the sheriff’s office. The dog did not bark, growl or give any other type of warning prior to the bite.
After the bite occurred, the dog was allowed to be quarantined for 10 days at the home of the owner. The victim stated the parents of the dog owner had agreed to “put the dog down” following the quarantine.
After the time of quarantine, the victim was notified there were no signs of rabies.
A few days later, Wayne County Sheriff’s Office was notified that the dog had been seen out of the kennel and loose in the yard of the owner, according to Jensen.
“During that time, we received more complaints about the dog being allowed to go loose,” Jensen said. He said on the fifth attempt Oct. 18, Wayne County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Brandon Burr was able to make contact and obtain the dog from the owner.
Burr wrote in his report that he was afraid he wouldn’t be able to control the dog due to its behavior. Jensen and Burr consulted the county ordinances, citing 09-07-04-2, which states a dog can be destroyed to prevent further injuries to any citizen of the county.
Burr shot the dog and then disposed of it.
The action resulted in several statements on social media critical of Burr’s handling of the situation and the sheriff’s office.
Jensen said the incident was taken care of in a way consistent with policy and county ordinance. Jensen said the decision to destroy the animal was reviewed not only by himself, but also by the Wayne County Attorney’s Office, Wayne County Commission and Utah Peace Officer Standards and Training.
However, Jensen said policies and ordinances are being reviewed so if a similar situation occurs, it can be handled with more tact.
“It has been determined that there was no violation of policy, ordinance or statute on the part of Deputy Brandon Burr,” Jensen said.
“We’re not trying to upset people,” Jensen said.
However, some residents in the county were upset, including at least one who made threatening comments aimed at Deputy Burr.
“I’ve talked to the people involved,” Jensen said. He said the comments were the result of a person who is passionate about animals expressing their opinion in an inappropriate manner.
“I told her we can’t tolerate that,” Jensen said. He said the person who made the post took it down and was sorry.
Meanwhile, the victim of the dog bite has received medical treatment for the bite and is continuing to heal.
“It was an unfortunate situation we wish we hadn’t been in,” Jensen said.