Archived Story

Buchanan considering ordinance after 3 people injured in 2 dog attacks

Published 8:50pm Thursday, September 15, 2011

BUCHANAN — Three people were injured in two pit bull attacks in Buchanan Saturday, sparking discussion among Buchanan city commissioners about a potential dangerous animal ordinance.
The discussion came up at Monday’s commission meeting. City Manager-Police Chief Bill Marx said the commission will welcome Berrien County


Animal Control Director Val Grimes to its next meeting Sept. 26 to discuss the city creating its own ordinance. The county has an ordinance on the books already.
The first attack took place at 5:30 a.m. in downtown Buchanan when two pit bull terriers attacked Doyle Vergon, of Buchanan, and his small dog. The dogs pulled Doyle to the ground and began biting him and mauled his dog.
Two Buchanan residents, Jimmy Cowles and Jason Stroud, responded to the scene to help pull the dogs off of Doyle. The dogs fled and Doyle was taken to an area hospital for treatment.
Then at 2:45 p.m. the same two pit bulls attacked Ann Desenberg in the garage of her River Street home. They bit her on the forearm and legs, causing serious wounds, according to Marx.
Her brother, Lou Desenberg, heard Ann’s cries for help and came to her aid. Lou used a 2-by-4 board to swing at the dogs but they came after Lou, biting him in the leg.
A 911 call was made and the Buchanan Police Department and Southwestern Michigan Community Ambulance Service arrived and took the Desenburgs to an area hospital with serious injuries.
“It was a real tragedy,” Marx said. “Thank goodness that people nearby helped fend off those dogs from doing any further damage.”
The owners of the dogs, Heather and Randy Pruett, of Buchanan Township, were able to secure the animals and turn them over to Berrien County Animal Control to be quarantined. Animal Control records revealed the two dogs are current on their vaccinations and were licensed.
Niles Township is also currently considering a local ordinance for dangerous animals after a pair of pit bulls attacked a dog in a township neighborhood recently.
“We’ve been watching Niles Township to see what they come up with their ordinance. We don’t want to be knee-jerk about this decision,” Marx said. “We want it to be sustainable and enforceable.”

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  • Stan

    Why doesn’t the town or county make EVERY person that owns a Pitbull or Pitbulls make them have a minimum of $5000 comprehensive insurance for these dogs.

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