During their meeting Tuesday night, Winnebago City Council needed to decide if a Siberian Husky should be euthanized or designated a “dangerous dog.”
“I hate to be put here in this position,” says Mayor Scott Robertson. “We’ll try to work through it amicably, so everybody has a good feeling when they leave here.”
On Jan. 28, Faribault County deputies Chris Albers and Jacob Pettit responded to a report that a Siberian Husky had killed a 9-week-old Golden Retriever at 435 1st St. S.W. in Winnebago.
“I was wiping the tears off my 2-year-old’s face,” says Chelsea Owen. “The dog died in my arms.”
According to the deputies report, Owen’s daughter let the Golden Retriever and a German Shepherd out their front door into the yard.
Amber Holmes, who lives across the street from Owen and Tyler Benschoter, says her two Huskies were also outside and after about 15 minutes she heard a lot of barking.
Holmes’ 5-year-old husky, Indy, was in the neighbor’s yard and attacking their little dog, says the report.
“I heard the incident, yelled at the dog and he came,” says Holmes. “Dorian is not a vicious animal and never once in his life attacked a person or animal.”
Owen told council members that it’s not the first time she’s had issues with Holmes’ dogs and something needs to be done.
“There have been multiple incidents her huskies have been in our yard. If my child had been out there, the situation would have been a lot worse,” she says.
Holmes says she doesn’t know how her dog got loose from his leash, which was secured to the front porch.
Holmes told council members that two weeks prior to the incident she had to put her other husky to sleep because it had exhibited aggressive behavior toward members of her family.
She says that there are articles and studies that show dogs in mourning can have signs of unusual aggression and destructive behavior. She believes that is the reason for what her dog did.
Holmes says she wants this case treated the same way the 2020 attack of the Police Department’s K-9 officer by a pit bull was handled.
“I don’t want special treatment,” she says. “I am well aware what the regulations are for the state and city. I have looked at all the ordinances.”
Holmes’ dog must be muzzled, on a leash and accompanied by an adult before going outside.
In addition, Holmes will have to keep the dog fenced in; erect warning signs; have the dog wear a tag that says it is dangerous; and increase their homeowners liability insurance to $300,000.
Council members voted to declare the husky a “dangerous dog,” require that Holmes pay all fees for a 10-day mandatory quarantine before the dog is released to her and have the fencing erected by May 1.