First Bite Allegation is Unsubstantiated, No Official Documentation, It Was Not Bandit

Bandit is an indoor pet living in the area marked with a single blue arrow at the top of the map (see map below). The 8 year old child who claims a dog bit him while riding his bike, lives in a home in the lower area of the map marked with an “A” and blue arrow. As you can see, there are literally approximately six blocks (1/2 a mile) between Bandit’s home and where the child lived. In between both points, there are many homes where many dogs live, both indoor and outdoor, many who look like the type of dog Bandit is.

The AC&R (Animal Care & Regulation) of the County of Sacramento took the word of a neighbor, who said a relative who used to live with him but no longer does is the one who pointed out the Bandit household as perhaps the dog who possibly could have bitten the child, but never witness any of what he is suggesting. There were no witness accounts to the child incident, no proof it even happened on Bandit’s street, no doctors report, no official animal bite and quarantine report issued by the AC&R that typically follows a bite incident, no administrative dog hearing, no ruling, nothing. In fact, a note was apparently placed in Bandit’s file unbeknownst to her owner and it is the only thing linking Bandit to this alleged incident, again based on unsubstantiated claims by someone who knows someone who was not a witness to the alleged incident. Bandit’s owner was never informed of any possible ramifications that could result as a result of her dog being named and accused as the dog who could have been responsible for the child bite incident. As far as the owner knew, the accusation was never addressed further and nothing more became of the accusation. She never heard from the AC&R after that.

It was not until the administrative dog hearing following the April 2010 incident for the alleged bite incident with the letter carrier that the AC&R introduced what they refer to as the ‘first bite’ arising from the June 2009 unsubstantiated incident with the child.

Bandit is an indoor pet with access only to her back yard when she’s not indoors. The only instances when Bandit is is allowed in the front yard is while on leash. On June 26, 2009, Bandit had been indoors the entire day — without access even to the back yard — because her owner was away taking care of a dying relative. Bandit’s owner believes that Bandit has been mistaken by the child for another dog and this ‘first bite’ should never have been attributed to Bandit in the first place. Instead, an informal note termed a ‘bite report’ that was never shared with the owner and never signed by the owner is now being used in conjunction with the alleged nip to the letter carrier to term Bandit ‘vicious and dangerous’. In the AC&R’s eyes, Bandit is a dog that has bitten and inflicted severe injury twice – and worthy of euthanasia.

It would appear that anyone can accuse your dog of biting someone, without a witness to attest, and then the AC&R in your town apparently could make their own version of a ‘bite report’ that sits in a file with your dog’s name on it. It would appear that the accusation does not need to be proven, witnessed, or substantiated and it could become a strike against your dog’s character.

The owner has repeatedly asked the AC&R to provide proof that it was Bandit who bit the child. They have yet to present any official documentation supporting the allegation. The administrative dog hearing officer characterized the allegation as hearsay during the hearing and yet used this very allegation to keep Bandit in confinement and ordered her euthanasia.

Apparently, it takes only one person who saw nothing to make a claim that your dog bit someone, it takes an unofficial note in your dog’s file at the AC&R that states your dog has bitten, it takes only one person at the administrative dog hearing to decide the fate of your dog. That’s the system in a nut shell in the capital of California.

What do you think about how the AC&R has handled of these allegations, the lack of a witness or doctors report, and a hearsay remark made by a neighbor who heard it from a family member, and the hearing  and decision making process by one single person who gets to decide the fate of your pet?

Share your thoughts please.



14 thoughts

  1. This is too ridiculous that this dog has been basically incarcerated and sentenced to die based on the facts that have been presented. She has been locked up for 3 YEARS….this is so sad to me. I would be totally devastated, as I am sure her owner is. They have both been deprived of the companionship that they shared before this. I hope to see that Bandit gets to go home, where she belongs and left alone to enjoy her life with her family.

  2. This is such a shame that Bandit can be accused of something with no proof whatsoever and be in jail for three years,,, This is disheartening and the accusers should be ashamed of themselves,, Whatever happened to innocent until proven guilty,,, Really guys? Take a look in the mirror,,, Release this dog to go home,,, Enough is enough already,,,

  3. What an absolute farce of a case & if a dogs life wasn’t at stake it would be laughable. I have written to the relevant authorities regarding Bandit’s release & as far as they are concerned, Bandit is a dangerous dog that has no place in society. I feel anger & sadness that this can occur with so little proof & evidence. It seems to me that animal control’s all over the US are on power trips, hell bent on killing our beloved pets. Why we have developed this “kill” mentality to solve our problems is beyond me. Animal control should be there to work with the owners for a suitable, safe outcome for everyone, that does NOT involve taking a life!. Release Bandit home & stop the unfair, unsubstantiated persecution of a pet. This has gone on too long!! SAVE BANDIT!!

  4. Patricia, you sound like such a lovely woman. I’m so glad you wrote this. The total unfairness of the whole situation is deplorable. My heart breaks for Bandit and her family, and all I am able to do is bring it to the attention of my many Facebook friends in Australia. I do hope that some of them contribute to the cost of the fight. I’m pretty sure they would. You good people keep fighting the good fight, and I’ll keep on spreading the word down under and praying for a happy outcome. Much love to all involved. ❤

  5. This is COMPLETELY RIDICULOUS, first of all that anything could be held against the owner or Bandit by taking the word of a child/neighbor when they don’t even know if it was Bandit. It wasn’t even witnessed!!! IT MAKES NO SENSE!!! Secondly, the “supposed” bite left on the mail carrier is so small, you can barely see it. It is such a disgrace to do what has been done to this dog & her family – it is just unbelievable that there are people like this. I am so sorry that her family is going through this & I hope someone will come to their senses!!!!

  6. There is really no actual proof, it is just hear say. Where Bandit was and where the child was are quite a distance and other dogs that live around the area where the child was riding a bike. There just doesn’t seem like any evidence and a death penalty seems too much with the information provided. Bandit has been locked up for 3 years and probably for doing nothing. I think Bandit needs to go home, I believe in my mind they have the wrong dog.

  7. It is frightening what has happened when being a dog owner. There has been an extreme tilting of the justice scales to condemn an innocent. There is no justice in this. This has been so wrong on so many levels. I have four dogs myself and I would be devastated and furious that such wrong would occur. Bandit deserves to be returned home. It is unfortunate the wrongful accuser and cause of Bandit being taken couldn’t be jailed. I am heartbroken for the owner and Bandit. Please let this wrong be made right. I live in Santa Fe, NM and have posted in support of Bandit. I will never visit or support the City of Sacramento because of this.

  8. I am appalled that they can keep a dog in a cage for 3 yrs. and they have no witness to the fact that was the dog. Where are the Dr. reports and other papers to verify that it was actually Bandit. This is a waste of tax payers money to keep the dog and the Family has to pay so much to defend an innocent dog. I say release Bandit and have the Family sign that they have full responsibility while the dog is outside. Case closed!

  9. I was in the medical field for years. If it wasn’t witnessed and written, there is no proof! It never happened!

  10. I have just finished leaving a comment on another story of a dog who was deemed dangerous who bit the granddaughter of the owner. If it weren’t for the fact that the child required a few stitches and was reported by the EMS (which is law) I’m pretty sure the family would not have considered this worthy of reporting since this is a 7 yr. old dog with no prior history of biting or aggression. I’ve had 2 incidents of my own family dogs biting. One dog bit my 8 yr. old son who was ruff-housing with her. Not a bad bite that required medical attention and we chalked it off to the boy being too rough and maybe hurting the dog. This was a learning experience for my son. The dog never bit anyone again. The 2nd incident was when I kissed the top of my dog’s head (a different dog) who was asleep next to me on the couch. Oops…my bad! I startled her when she was sleeping. Dog never bit anyone again. Too many such incidences occur that are taken out of context and the dog is deemed dangerous. The system needs to change. A dog deserves his day in court and everything should be taken into consideration…his history, the circumstances, the severity, how do family, friends and neighbors feel about the dog’s disposition? Have the dog evaluated by a vet behaviorist. The current system of declaring a dog dangerous is too easy, too cut and dried. It needs an overhaul.

  11. there idea for how any dog can be convicted with no evidence nothing is wrong if it was a person they would think differently we are spose to take care of the animals the laws need to be changed. Its against their rights someone has to stand up for the them without a voice.

  12. You need to return Bandit home to her owner and reimburse her for the 106.00 a week or month or whatever it is she pays for the state to torture both the dog and owner on a bunch of hear-say. This is a companion dog, with an elderly woman….not a fighter… For the Luv….3 years.. torture…THAT is cruelty to an animal! If you kill this Dog~ you might as well kill the owner too because it will rip her heart out. And that leaves a bigger scar than anything the mail carrier has on his body.

  13. Sounds like bull to me. We have to fill out forms, get signed affidavits from witnesses, pictures and much more to accuse someone of something, but they don’t.. Sounds like another” I do what I want” official to me. To give anyone that kind of control in a life or death situation is unheard of or should be!!!! Like I’ve said before…. SHAME ON YOU!!! LET BANDIT GO HOME!!!!

  14. Hear, hear! So many thoughtful comments. I simply cannot believe this injustice is allowed to continue. I also cannot even imagine having to go through this with my own dog. It would crush me.

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