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South Bay Digest

Rancho P. V.

September 19, 1985

The City Council unanimously ordered the humane destruction of a pit bull accused of three attacks on people.

The year-old dog was accused of twice attacking Daphney Clarke, 53, who monitors a dewatering well near the dog owner's home for the Abalone Cove Landslide Abatement District.

In the first attack on, Feb. 4, the dog bit Clarke's right thigh, ripping her pants and bruising her leg, she told the council on Tuesday. She immediately complained to city officials, who persuaded the dog owner, Leonard Miller, to find the dog another home outside the city. Miller took the dog to his family's business in Gardena.

On June 17, however, the dog was back at the Miller home and attacked Clarke as she walked to the well from her car, she said. Miller called the dog, preventing it from hurting the woman.

Clark said she was not on the Miller property on either occasion. The dog was loose and the attacks were unprovoked, she said.

City Manager Don Guluzzy said he had learned that the dog attacked a Gardena woman when it was being kept in that city.

Miller, 22, told the council he had "raised a mellow dog. I made him a good soul." The dog had been abused by a former owner when it was a puppy, Miller said, but he was confident the dog had never bitten anyone. "He's never snarled. He's never snapped at anyone."

City officials said they sought alternatives to destroying the dog. Miller was asked to fence the dog but he said he could not afford to. Efforts to find the dog another home were abandoned because officials believed that the city might be legally responsible if the dog hurt someone. "It's unfortunate the city has to come to this, but the city just can't afford to incur the liability," Mayor John McTaggart said. A Rancho Palos Verdes ordinance allows the city manager to order the destruction of animals deemed dangerous.

The dog was destroyed Wednesday at the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals shelter in Hawthorne.

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