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Va. County Responds to Pit-Bull Death

May 11th, 2005, 03:05 PM
SPOTSYLVANIA, Va. (AP) -- Pet owners who allow their dogs to roam could now face a stiff fine and jail time, following an 82-year-old woman's mauling death by unleashed pit bulls.

The Spotsylvania Board of Supervisors voted unanimously Tuesday to raise misdemeanor penalties to the maximum allowed by state law and to create a "public nuisance" category that applies to dogs.

Dorothy Sullivan was killed March 8 after being attacked by three pit bulls in her front yard. Her dog was also killed.

Authorities say Sullivan's neighbor, Deanna H. Large, owned the dogs. Large has pleaded not guilty to involuntary manslaughter and to three misdemeanor counts of letting a dangerous dog run at large.


Authorities shot and killed two of the pit bulls and euthanized the third.

Under the new ordinances, owners of dogs that habitually run free could be fined up to $2,500 and be sentenced to up to a year in jail. Dogs that habitually trespass, chase cars or run at large can be euthanized on a judge's order.

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