EYOTA, Minn. (KTTC) -- Eyota's City Council decided the fate of a dog that attacked a 5-year-old girl in Summerfield Park on April 2.
Milya Klassen was attacked shortly after 3 p.m. while playing at the park located next to the home of the dog's owner. Klassen was later taken to the emergency room at Olmsted Medical Center in Rochester. She was treated for an animal bite and multiple abrasions.
At Thursday's city council meeting the owner of the 1-year-old bull dog named "George" defended her family pet to the council. Owner, Diane Schmidt, said her dog was in her fenced in yard at the time of the attack. Schmidt wasn't home when the incident occurred but she said the dog was provoked.
Dana Deutmeyer of Eyota was babysitting Klassen. While testifying to the city council, Deutmeyer said the dog had escaped the yard, attacked the child and wouldn't let go. Deutmeyer's children, who were with her at the time, went to a nearby house to get help from a neighbor. According to Deutmeyer, it took her and a neighbor several attempts before they could free the child.
The city council heard testimony from witnesses, Klassen's parents and concerned neighbors before taking a vote. The council unanimously voted to declare the dog "dangerous."
"I feel bad because I know the dog probably didn't mean to do that, but I know it has potential to do that again," said Klassen's mother, Bria Riess of Eyota. "Because of that, I'm very very glad it was labeled 'dangerous' and hopefully it won't be in our neighborhood anymore."
Now, Schmidt will have 15 days to contest the council's decision. Meanwhile, the council didn't immediately exercise their option to remove the dog from its home. Although, Eyota Mayor Tyrel Clark, said that could occur. For now, Schmidt is allowed to keep the dog as long as she complies with its new restrictions. The restrictions include keeping the dog inside the yard and using a muzzle.
"I know she is a responsible dog owner and she feels bad that the dog was able to get out and hurt the child, but we hope that the neighborhood can get back together and not let issues arise," said Jacob Hughes, Schmidt's neighbor.
Since the attack, Schmidt added an invisible dog fence to her yard and repaired the chain-link fence. She said she also supervises the dog while he is in the yard. Upon hearing the council's decision on Thursday, Schmidt said she already arranged to give the bull dog to a new family. Schmidt refused to comment further.
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