Hudson appeals to dog attack victim to come forward
PHOTO COURTESY MICHAEL FRIEDRICH
Hudson resident Michael Friedrich sustained serious injury and tendon damage to his left hand following a dog attack in April, 2016, and he and his wife are concerned following reports of a second attack by the same dog earlier this month on Cameron Street.
A Hudson woman is speaking out following the recent dog attack on a 19-year-old boy at a business on Cameron Street just over a year after her husband suffered severe injuries to his left hand – while on his own property – by the same dog.
“Apparently, nothing can be done (legally) because there hasn’t been a prior complaint against the dog,” said resident Marie Logan. “Public security is frustrated and the police are frustrated. But all the courts could do is issue the owner a $300 fine.”
Logan and her husband Michael Friedrich live near the dog’s owner who was in their yard in April, 2016 to retrieve some stored garden furniture from the couple’s garage. The dog, described as a Staffordshire bull terrier, was leashed to a metal patio table on the outdoor deck. When Friedrich, who had been working on his wife’s car in the garage, attempted to walk across the deck to enter his home, the dog started barking. Pulling the heavy table to which he was tied, the dog lunged and within seconds, Friedrich’s left hand sustained injuries severe enough that muscle tissue from his upper arm was also damaged. Tendons were pulled out and even now, roughly 16 months later, he still has mobility issues in his hand.
Though the owner apologized for the attack and offered to help with any potential work around the house, she refused Logan’s request that the dog be muzzled and reportedly insinuated Friedrich provoked the attack.
“Two weekends ago, I heard someone else had been bitten,” Logan told Your Local Journal. “I confirmed with a witness and the Town of Hudson confirmed it was the same dog.”
The second victim, a 19-year-old male, was inside a dépanneur near the corner of Main and Cameron when the leashed dog attacked. “The owner told him, ‘The dog’s never done this before’. The young man’s not filing a police report so we’re back to square one.” Logan described the second attack as unprovoked and aggressive.
When asked whether the Town of Hudson could intervene, Public Security Director Philippe Baron said no one had yet made a complaint in the second attack. While he has not personally seen the security camera video footage of the attack, he said his staff described it as vicious and disturbing.
“There are limits to what we, and the police, can do,” said Baron. “There has to be a formal complaint.” He said there has been a previous situation where, with an aggressive dog, the town was able to adopt a by-law forcing the animal to be evaluated by a certified veterinarian. He also said there’s an obligation of the animal owner to address the situation – for example with a muzzle – or to have it euthanized.
Baron confirmed the issue was presented to the town’s Director General Jean-Pierre Roy, who is currently away on business, and would be on the municipal agenda within the next few days. “We don’t want another incident to occur, not to an adult and especially not a child.”
Baron has been amassing all the facts in the dossier and though many on social media have been critical of the town for not taking immediate action, Baron said it’s a long process but will be carried out according to existing laws.
“The problem is also, many people tell stories but are not willing to put it down officially on a piece of paper,” he said. “If we go to court, I can’t just say, ‘Someone told me in my office…’ That’s not how it’s done.”
Since the initial attack on Friedrich, who was forced to take over a month off from his work as a roofer, Logan attempted to follow due process by notifying the town and the authorities and following up with the court date earlier this summer at the Vaudreuil-Soulanges Municipal Court in Vaudreuil-Dorion.
“Two weeks ago was the first time I put it on Facebook,” she said. “When the other boy was bitten, I was so shocked. I was always worried it would happen again.” Logan, who works outdoors as a gardener, said she’s sick of being worried to death of another attack happening in the community.
Baron said if a second complaint is officially filed with the city, it will help expedite the process.
“That’s the gamebreaker. It would make a difference for the future person who might get hurt by this dog.”