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Escape from W.Va. Pound; Owner Charged in Michigan; Chase in Nebraska

July 9, 1987

Undated (AP) _ A 3-year-old Ohio girl lost part of her nose Wednesday after being attacked by her family’s pit bull terrier, while West Virginia officials said a vicious pit bull missing from a dog pound may not be found until it attacks again.

Elsewhere, a Michigan man was charged with assault with a deadly weapon in an attack by a pit bull on a 12-year-old girl, and two pit bulls chased a girl and three officers in Nebraska before the animals were captured, authorities said.

In Arkansas, a town’s ordinance banning ownership the dogs has been challenged as unconstitutional.

NaDeje Laubensheimer of Columbus, Ohio, lost part of her nose when the pet attacked her, apparently without provocation, said sheriff’s department spokesman Rick Minerd. She was treated at Children’s Hospital and released, said nursing supervisor Chris Campbell.

The dog was impounded by county animal control officers and will be destroyed at the request of the owners, Minerd said.

″The parents said the dog never had done that before,″ he said.

In Morgantown, W.Va., a 40-pound pit bull disappeared Sunday from its cage at the Monongalia County Dog Pound, where it had been kept since its owner was convicted June 18 of keeping a vicious animal and letting it run free.

″I’m afraid now that he’s out that the only way he will be found will be another biting incident,″ Pete Christoff, county dog warden, said Wednesday.

Monongalia County Magistrate Ruth Garlow ordered that the dog be destroyed and fined its owner, William Hawkins, $50 and ordered him to pay $22 restitution to Donna Wiles, who was attacked May 15 as she walked her family’s poodle near her home.

Mrs. Garlow ordered the dog, named Max, confined for 20 days to give Hawkins time to appeal.

In Muskegon Heights, Mich., Lutillis Lewis Jr., 21, faces a July 15 preliminary hearing on criminal charges filed after he allegedly ordered his pit bull to attack the girl Friday, authorities said Wednesday.

Lewis pleaded innocent Monday to assault with a deadly weapon and was released on $1,000 bond.

Quenisha Taylor suffered severe chest injuries in the attack as she was walking with a group of girls, police said. She was treated and released at a hospital.

The dog is being held at the Muskegon County animal shelter, Police Chief William R. Howell said Wednesday.

Two pit bull terriers reportedly chased a Hastings, Neb., girl, Tuesday tearing her clothing but not injuring her, then chased an animal control officer and two policemen who came to investigate, said Harold Butterfield, director of the city health department.

The animals’ owner put the dogs in his van and told health officers that the dogs had escaped from his home Monday night.

No charges have been filed, said Butterfield.

The Hastings City Council plans on Monday to hear the first reading of an ordinance banning pit bulls or any dog trained or bred for dog-fighting.

A Maumelle, Ark., ordinance banning pit bull ownership is unconstitutionally vague, according to a lawsuit filed in Pulaski County Circuit Court in Little Rock, Ark., by Steele Holt.

The suit said the town’s animal control officer had promised to enter Holt’s home without a warrant to ″search for and seize Holt’s dog if Wilkinson thinks the dog is there.″

Such conduct violates Holt’s constitutional rights, the suit said.

Holt was arrested Nov. 24 for violating the ordinance and was convicted in Municipal Court. A circuit judge overturned the conviction May 22 without addressing the constitutional issue, the suit said.

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