Archive for Thursday, March 15, 2007

Pit bull attack on horses brings call for new law

March 15, 2007

Kay Moyer moved to the Tonganoxie-Basehor area to have room for her miniature horses.

Last September, she bought a home in the 18000 block of 178th Street.

She renovated a barn and secured their area, never dreaming a roaming pit bull would climb a fence, kill her pregnant mare and maul three other miniature horses.

On the evening of March 1, as Moyer and her fiance, Rob Clark, were celebrating their engagement - he'd bought a ring and proposed to her earlier that day - her cell phone rang.

The news was grim.

The owner of a pit bull, who had let his dog run while he stopped at Moyer's neighbor's house, told her his dog had attacked her horses.

"He told me one of my horses had a really bad gash on her neck," Moyer said. "We came tearing home."

Moyer, who has no children, said the horses are like her children.

It was worse than she thought.

She walked in the barn and saw the wounded Molly, her mare that was nine months pregnant. Horses have an 11-month gestation period.

"She was blood red," Moyer said.

They called for veterinarians, who soon arrived.

"They worked and worked trying to save my Molly," Moyer said. "They did everything they could for her : she was just too torn up. The dog had punctured her windpipe in three different places. She was so mutilated that I wanted to try and help hold her head while they were working on her. I couldn't touch her because every place you could place your hands there were open wounds."

The wounds were too severe, and the efforts to save her, futile. On the morning of March 2, Molly and her unborn colt died.

Plans on hold

When he found his dog attacking the horses, Kevin Cook captured him and shot him, Moyer said.

Molly wasn't the only horse the dog attacked. She found three of her miniature mares in the corner of the pasture, all wounded.

"They got chewed up pretty bad and their dispositions - they're traumatized," Moyer said.

Normally, she said, the horses like to go into the barn. But Friday, after Thursday night's invasion by the pit bull, they had to be forced to go back in the barn. She's housing the mares in stalls until their wounds heal.

Not only is she heartbroken about losing her pregnant mare, she's also going to have to postpone her plans to show her horses at this year's miniature horse shows.

"There is no way they will be physically or emotionally ready for shows," Moyer said.

Laws lacking

Moyer said, emotionally, there's no way to replace the 4-year-old Molly.

And financially, she said, the horse and unborn colt would have been worth thousands of dollars each. Monday, her veterinarian bills were already more than $500.

Adding to her stress is the fact that Leavenworth County has no ordinance that prohibits specific breeds of dogs. In October, county commissioners passed a resolution regarding vicious dogs and other animals. The ordinance regulates any animal that is vicious but is not breed specific. Dogs, or other animals that have been found to be vicious, must be confined indoors or in a secured enclosure.

"I think the law needs to be stiffened up and I think they need to get tough on them," Moyer said. ": You don't just turn these animals out. It's like having a bear in your house and saying he's such a loving little thing. The bottom line is, he's a wild animal, he's going to have natural instincts. These pit bulls have been bred for generations to fight. It's their natural instinct to do it. They're not pet-quality animals."

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