A Havelock woman says she felt she was doing the right thing in reporting that she had been bitten by a dog on June 3.
The owners of that dog, Sadie, have appealed to the Havelock Board of Commissioners to seek changes to the rules that declared Sadie, a female boxer/beagle mix, vicious, forcing the family to either put the dog down or pay $1,000 and remove the dog from the city.
Casey Ryba, 25, of Barden Drive, said Sadie bit her in the left buttocks as she was completing a two-mile run around 7 p.m. on June 3.
She said that contrary to statements made by supporters of the dog’s owners to commissioners during a June 23 board meeting, the attack did draw blood.
“It broke the skin,” Ryba said. “You could see where her teeth were embedded in my butt.”
She said she recognized the dog and went to the home of Donna Scheck, the dog’s owner. Ryba said she wanted to make sure the dog’s shot records were up to date and that she told Scheck that she didn’t want to report the incident to animal control.
However, she said that after talking with family and friends she decided that the right thing to do would be to report the incident to the city.
“I have a son who is 3 and his head is the same level as my butt, so I decided to call,” Ryba said.
She said that the bite did not require medical treatment shouldn’t matter, considering it did break the skin and cause bruising.
“I wasn’t doing anything wrong,” she said. “I was just running down the street and an animal comes at me out of nowhere, viciously.”
Ryba said she is not an animal hater, as she feels the dog’s supporters tried to make her out to be in comments to commissioners.
“I have six pit bulls in my family. I have three animals of my own. I’m far from an animal hater,” Ryba said. “If anything, I was trying to be nice to that family and not have their dog taken away from them.”
The city blacked out Ryba’s name in reports of the incident, but she said supporters of the dog made the issue public by speaking out at the televised board meeting in June, comments that were printed in a July 10 story in the Havelock News.
Ryba said her concern was for her child and for other children in the neighborhood.
“When I did get the phone call that the dog had been deemed vicious and that we needed to have a court date, I was shocked because it was what I did not want to happen,” Ryba said. “I did it because I have a kid, and I needed to call for the neighborhood as well. I didn’t want their dog to get taken away from them. Once I realized that meant it would be put to sleep, that was even terrible.”
The Scheck family paid $1,000 to keep Sadie alive, but the family has reportedly sent the dog out of the state.
“I didn’t deem the dog vicious. The city did,” Ryba said. “It was their responsibility to keep the dog inside.”
Havelock commissioners have said they plan to revisit city rules on vicious animals, perhaps at their Aug. 11 meeting.