Monday, July 14, 2014

Michigan Reprise

Kara Sepulveda, of the Red Rock Arabians farm in Handy Township, walked into the bloody scene and saw one dog - she later learned there was a second dog - attacking her 25-year-old mare, Helvezia . . . .
The attack on Helvezia came three months after four rampaging pit bull type dogs killed two people in the same area of rural Michigan in late 2008.

Following the double fatal attack and the pit bull attack on Helvezia, the Livingston County Daily Press called  upon the State Legislature to take action on dangerous dogs.
We also feel that the Michigan Legislature needs to closely - and quickly - examine what types of reasonable legislation is needed to deal with this growing problem.

Harper's family is promoting legislation that would make it illegal for someone to own dangerous dogs, and Sepulveda said she supports that measure. Is that too drastic?
This prudent call for action languished for three years, until June 2011, when Representative Timothy Bledsoe introduced HB4714.  Bledsoe's landmark legislation was killed within minutes by a single legislator, Rep. Hugh Crawford (R-Novi, Chair of the House Regulatory Reform Committee),1 who refused to give the bill a fair hearing before his committee or before the full house.

Now, in an eerie reprise of the 2008 attack on Helvezia, a pit bull recently entered the stall of a prize Arabian mare in Michigan. The pit bull-boxer mix escaped from its owner's house and made its way to Hampton Green Farm where it located the mare, Candela, in her stall. "The dog hunted down the horse. She went for the oldest, weakest of the horses and I think it's a very dangerous thing," said Kim Boyer, owner of Hampton Green Farm. "The dog has tasted the blood of an animal that is much larger than her."

Michigan's legislature passed harsh new animal fighting legislation in 2012,2 but the legislation has done nothing to stop pit bull attacks on humans, companion animals, or horses. After the attack on Candela, the legislators need no additional reminders that they have yet to fulfill their obligation to protect the people and companion animals of Michigan.

* * * * *
1 Rep Crawford is retiring this year after six years in the House. Rep Crawford's wife, Kathy Crawford, is currently in the race to succeed him.
2 Michigan's tougher animal fighting penalties, Detroit Free Press, December 31, 2012


The dog hunted down the horse
   June 20, 2014; The Muskegon Chronicle

   April 15, 2008
Police said two of McGalliard's pit bulls attacked and mauled a Polish Arabian mare in her stall on Judd Road in January.

Emotions flare over hearing in dog attack
   February 22, 2008; Detroit News

Legislature needs to take up debate on dangerous dog breeds
February 4, 2008; Livingston County Daily Press & Argus
(Note: this article is behind a paywall)

My Horse Saved My Life
Jan 30, 2008; Livingston County Daily Press & Argus
(Note: this article is behind a paywall; it has been copied into a discussion at

Horse put down after pit-bull attack
   January 28, 2008
Handy Township is just north of Iosco Township, the rural Livingston County community where a pack of purebred and mixed-bred American bulldogs attacked and killed two people last September.[Editors' note: American bulldogs are pit bull type dogs.]

Killer dogs tried to attack third victim
   December 28, 2007

Index of articles about the attack on Kara Sepulveda's Arabian mare