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Keller Family Advocates For Change After Law Hinders Accountability For Dog Park Attack

KELLER, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) - A Keller family is out to change the law after a vicious attack on their pet took place at a dog park, which has made it more difficult to hold anyone accountable.

"I want to talk about my dog Max." Keller City Council members this month heard from a 7-year-old named CJ. "I saw a dog trying to hurt Max. This is a big problem because I love my dog."

CJ's mom, Cathy, says Max was by her side at the dog park in Keller Pointe when the other dog lunged. "It was like every dog owner's worst nightmare," she said. "This pit bull had locked on Max's head and dragged him."

She said her boyfriend wrestled the dog off of Max, who lost most of his left ear.

dog attack victim
Max's ear after a pit bull attacked him in a Keller dog park. (credit: Cathy McOmber)

Shannon Thomas is one of several witnesses who hasn't stopped thinking about what she called a violent and unprovoked attack. "It was frightening to watch," she said. Thomas recalled, "People were yelling. People were hollering. We could hear kids crying. I mean, witnesses had blood on their clothing."

Animal Control investigated, but to the surprise of Max's family and other witnesses, found it couldn't label the attacking dog dangerous. A dog involved in an attack can get that designation, which means among other things, they won't be allowed at the dog park anymore.

But under Texas law and the Keller municipal code, there are exceptions for attacks that occur within an enclosure - and yes, the dog park counts as one.

"Even if [my dog] was killed, because of the way the municipal code reads really nothing can be done," Cathy said.

She now wants to change city code, which is why she and CJ spoke to the City Council. "This is unacceptable and needs to change. No other family or innocent dog should ever have to go through this," she told the council.

It may be too late to make a difference for Max, but not, Cathy says, for the next victim. "I absolutely think that dog will attack again."

Max's family is pursuing the other dog's family in small claims court to recover the money spent on medical bills, but they said that won't do anything to prevent future attacks.

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