The parents of 9-year-old Colby Prince, who was attacked by three Pit Bulls that escaped from a nearby rescue group in June, have announced they are planning to sue the city of Roswell, New Mexico, and Doggy Saviors Rescue, KRQE reports.
At least one of the Pit Bulls which had been released to Doggy Saviors by Roswell Animal Control was known to have a “dangerous and vicious nature,” the family claims.
Colby was attacked by the dogs on Vista Lane in Roswell on the morning of June 11 while he was watering his horses on the family’s property. The three pit bull mixes escaped from a nearby pet rescue facility, it was later learned. The Chaves County sheriff’s office says he was “badly mauled,” according to AlbuquerqueGotNewsWire.
His uncle, Chris Ferguson said, “Whenever they found him his shirt was ripped off and his shoes were missing.”
Colby suffered puncture wounds to his neck, chest, arms and legs. The dogs also chewed off part of his ears, KRQE reported.
Colby’s dad, who is a detective at the Roswell Police Department, shot two of the dogs, killing one of them and severely wounding another. The sheriff’s office says the operator of the pet rescue surrendered another 18 dogs that were still in their possession, according to Albuquerque.GotNewsWire.
KOB Eyewitness News 4 reported it learned that Animal Control visited the Doggie Saviors' rescue shelter the day before the attack for a welfare check. Deputies told KOB quite a few of the dogs did not have rabies shots.
Colby’s mother described the emotional impact the attack has had on her son, saying that, before the attack, he was a fun-loving boy who adored animals. “He now has nightmares of Pit Bulls attacking him through the window,” she told KRQE.
Doug Jones Witt, attorney for the family, advised KREQ that he has filed a tort-claim against the City of Roswell, saying animal control was negligent because at least one of the Pit Bulls involved in the attack had been surrendered to the city shelter by its owners for euthanasia because of its dangerous and vicious nature, but it was still released to Doggy Saviors.
“A couple of those dogs had previously attacked--in the instance of one dog, a horse and its owner,” the attorney said.
ROSWELL MAYOR SUSPENDS ADOPTIONS TO ALL ANIMAL RESCUE GROUPS
On Thursday, June 12, Roswell Mayor Dennis Kintigh suspended all local pet rescue groups from adopting animals from the city’s shelter. The next day Kintigh took a further precautionary step and stopped release of animals to all New Mexico rescue groups, KRQE reported.
Under the policy prior to the attack on Colby Prince, any local pet rescues that were a licensed non-profit could adopt an animal from the shelter for $1, with the expectation that the animals would be sterilized, vaccinated and find a “forever home,” according to KRQE.
“How were these dogs able to attack a small child if they were in care, custody and control of a reputable rescue group?” asked Kintigh.
“What happened on Wednesday is unacceptable,” Kintigh announced, “Something did not work right and we have to make sure it doesn’t happen again.”
Kintigh is working on implementing a more stringent city ordinance. New policies could range from mandatory rescue inspections, worker background checks and an increase to the adoption fee, KRQE reports.
Right now, the city’s code enforcement supervises animal control. Kintigh says he’d like to see the police department take over that responsibility.
The Mayor says he will lift the ban against New Mexico rescue groups adopting from the Roswell shelter as soon as the investigation is complete.
Read also: 3 Pit Bulls Escape from Roswell, NM, Animal-Rescue Kennel, Attack 9-Year-Old Boy - See more at: http://www.opposingviews.com/