Council deems dog potentially dangerous

By Barbie Porter


Residents addressed the Frazee City Council regarding encounters with a vicious dog. During its regularly scheduled meeting on Monday, Nov. 15, the city council heard from several adults and children who shared accounts of being attacked while walking or biking on a public sidewalk. The sidewalk is located between the elementary school and high school.

A young boy shared his experience, noting he saw a “girl trying to tie the dog up” and it “had a leash on.” He turned away from the dog and continued to walk. When he heard the sound of paws thumping on the ground he turned and saw snarls and the dog barreling at him. As a reaction, the boy said he placed a Chromebook in front of his knee in attempt to prevent the dog from biting him. He said the dog continued the attack and attempted to bite his calf. The Chromebook was once again used in self-defense.

The boy said he ran to a baseball field fence and to the gate. He went through it and closed it. The dog followed him and “almost squeezed through” the gate. That is where the boy said the owners came and took the dog home.

The boy’s mother stated she contacted the police department and reported what happened. It was stated the dog allegedly attacked two other people. One of those other people addressed the council stating they were on a bike when a similar chase and attack scenario unfolded.    However, in that instance the person stated  the dog attack resulted in a bite on the right leg of her child. When she defended her child from the dog, she said the dog allegedly bit her on the arm.

The woman stated she and her child made it to the school parking lot and a friend called 9-1-1. She added Frazee Police Chief Tyler Trieglaff responded to the call and a report was filed. She stated the incident was at the end of April.

Trieglaff noted the dog’s owner has received dog-at-large citations.

It was stated the police department researched the dangerous dog law in Minnesota. Essentially, the statute defines a dangerous dog as one that attacks without provocation and inflicts substantial bodily harm (limits  the use of a limb) on public, or private property or kills a domestic animal without provocation.

A “dangerous” dog comes with required additional liability insurance and other requirements, such as muzzling the pet at all times when in the public.

The council was told the  first step to labeling a dog “dangerous” is to declare it “potentially dangerous.” The definition of “potentially dangerous” is met if,  when unprovoked, a dog bites or chases a human with an apparent attitude to attack at a location other than on its owner’s property. The definition also states the dog has a “known propensity, tendency, or disposition to attack unprovoked, causing injury or otherwise threatening the safety of humans or domestic animals.”

It was noted once an owner is notified their dog is considered “potentially dangerous” then steps would need to take place by the owners to prevent another attack. If another attack occurred, after the dog was deemed potentially dangerous and the owner was notified, then the dog could be labeled a dangerous dog. 

Seeger said he had recently viewed the yard where the dog resides. He saw a chain tied to a clothes line that extended about 12 feet, but was still about 30-to-40-feet from the sidewalk.

The council approved deeming the dog potentially dangerous and asked the owner of the dog be served with the necessary information. It was noted if the owner wanted, a hearing could be held where the owner could further discuss the issue with the council. At that time, the council could reverse the declaration of the dog begin labeled “potentially dangerous.”