Animal welfare: Dog in biting incident will be euthanized unless owner comes forward

OKLAHOMA CITY – Officials say the dog behind an attack at an elementary school will be euthanized if it is not claimed by the owner by the end of Thursday.

Just before 1 p.m. on Nov. 19, dispatchers received several 911 calls from teachers and administrators at Millard Fillmore Elementary School.

“We have a mad, out-of-control dog on our playground. It’s already bit a teacher and some kids, and we need somebody to come get the dog,” one caller told dispatchers.

In all, 12 students were taken to a hospital for treatment for superficial bites and scrapes as children tried to run away from the dog.

“The dog came on and started to attack some of the kids, and then of course the kids began to scream and panic, which excited the dog and scared the dog even more, so his natural instinct was to keep biting and going after the kids,” said Capt. David Macy, with the Oklahoma City Fire Department.

The dog, estimated to be about a year old, has no tag and is not microchipped, according to Jon Gary, with Oklahoma City Animal Welfare.

"We believe it's somebody's pet just because of the health and condition of the dog, and more than likely lives close to that school area," said Gary.

On Thursday, animal welfare officials announced that the dog would be euthanized unless it is claimed by its owner at the end of the day.

Officials say state law required that the dog be held for 10 days, and the dog's quarantine period ends Thursday.

"The dog has not shown signs of any medical issues, but investigators determined the biting incident shows the dog is too dangerous to be put into an adoption program or otherwise released from Animal Welfare custody.

The dog’s bites broke the skin on 15 victims at the school. Thirteen other victims were bitten without breaking the skin, or hurt while trying to run away from the dog. The victims and other witnesses told investigators the attack began when children on the playground who were scared of the dog began to run away from it, and the dog chased them and bit them," a statement from the agency said.

If the owner comes forward, investigators would consider pursuing a dangerous animal complaint against the owner. In those cases, a judge determines if an animal is dangerous and has the discretion to order the animal to be euthanized or returned to the owner.