We have reported about a number of dog attacks in Southwest Florida recently. We looked into why there don’t seem to be serious consequences after an attack that happened in Collier County.
The dog that attacked Nadine Nardi and her chihuahua in the Hawksridge community in East Naples is still there, and Nardi wants answers.
Animal control says it has to follow the county’s ordinance, which says a dangerous dog wouldn’t be allowed at a park without a muzzle and a tight leash, and owners would have to have a sign up at their home warning others. Victims of dog attacks hope its enough.
“Do we really have to wait until bad, bad things happen?” Nardi said.
It’s a question leaving Nardi unsettled with the dog that attacked her and her chihuahua still behind her neighbor’s fence.
“Even now, it’s quarantined by the owner,” Nardi said. “It still has to go, to let it out to go to the restroom. It would take one second again for it to come over and catch an elderly or a child.”
Nadine’s husband, Bob Nardi, said he won’t wait for that to happen.
“Here we are in a cul-de-sac, and we are being held prisoner,” Bob said.
It turns out, even after injuring other animals or people, animal control rarely removes dogs from their homes. They told us, if the dog is deemed dangerous, the owner can choose to keep it under strict and expensive rules.
Insurance experts such as Paul Murray say it also creates a hurdle when shopping for homeowner’s insurance.
“Most likely, the current insurance carrier will look to cancel the policy because of the dog bite history or tell them they need to somehow get rid of the dog to continue insurance with them,” Murray said.
Some dangerous dogs are listed on the county’s website with addresses. These owners have to pay hundreds of dollars a year and along with other restrictions and can’t have their pet in public without a strong leash and a muzzle. Violating these rules can lead to euthanasia for the pet and serious fines for an owner.
“It’s absurd the laws don’t protect us at all,” Bob said.
The owner of the dog that attacked Nadine Nardi has signed an agreement to, at all times have control of the dog while animal control investigates, and that means keeping the dog from jumping the fence. If the dog does get determined as dangerous, one of the regulations is having the proper enclosure.
The Nardis say they’ll do what they must to protect their family.
“I’m going to sue them,” Nardi said.