Philip Booth has been handed nine citations stemming from the Jan. 25 attack on a Sequim woman by two of his dogs.
Sandra McMillon lost the tip of her right index finger after being bitten by one of the dogs.
The two dogs, which had escaped Booth’s backyard pen, first attacked McMillon’s chihuahua mix, Odie, then turned on her. She dropped her dog to stop the assault.
Sequim City Code Compliance/Animal Control Officer Lisa Hopper issued the citations, which include two counts for “rabies immunizations,” two counts of unlicensed dogs, two counts “bite on an animal,” one count “bite on a human,” and two counts “control of dogs.” Sequim Police spokeswoman Maris Turner provided the Gazette with notice of the citations.
The case was originally sent to the Clallam County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office for possible action, but the prosecutor sent the case back to the City of Sequim.
Sequim city attorney Craig Ritchie said that isn’t unusual. He said the referral sheet sent by the Prosecuting Attorney’s office “stated the charge (Dangerous Dog) was declined.” The prosecuting attorney determined there was “insufficient evidence to prove the owner knew of the dogs’ dangerous propensities beyond a reasonable doubt,” Ritchie said.
“I am just guessing that we don’t have any criminal statutes that fit. What’s usually, but not always, required for a crime is ‘scienter’ which, loosely translated means, ‘with knowledge or awareness of.’”
Turner reported that the male dog involved in the attack was “euthanized because he bit a kennel worker at the humane society.” She said the female dog was released to the Olympic Animal Sanctuary in Forks “where she can never leave — she cannot be adopted out.”
At the time of the attack, Booth owned four pit bulls.
The attack took place near the intersection of Third Avenue and Maple Street in Sequim. McMillon said veterinarian’s fees topped $900.
The fines issued in connection with the citations total “over $1,500,” Turner reported.
Reach Mark Couhig at firstname.lastname@example.org.