All eyes and ears were on Keith and Denice Horlacher at the New Hope Borough Council meeting Tuesday night, as the Riverwoods couple recounted the horror of seeing their pet Maltese killed by a large off-leash dog on Aug. 2.
As first reported in the Free Press, at 5:57 p.m. on that day, police responded to the area of Riverwoods Drive and the Deer Path for a report of two pit bulls attacking another dog.
“The investigation of the incident concluded that the pit bulls had attacked and killed the Maltese, which was being walked by its owners on a sidewalk in the Riverwoods development,” said police.
One could hear a pin drop at the New Hope Community Room Tuesday night as Denice Horlacher made an impassioned plea to borough council and a packed house for more stringent enforcement efforts against irresponsible dog owners. Members of the audience offered their condolences, and aired their views at the mic, with some critical of so-called “dangerous breeds,” and others, notably several dog trainers, asserting that the problem often lies with the dog owner, not any specific breed.
On Aug. 4, police cited the owner of the pit bulls, Jane Tracy, 66, of New Hope, for five violations of the Pennsylvania Dog Law, including harboring a dangerous dog and failing to confine her dogs. One of the pit bulls was later euthanized, and police are awaiting official notification on the second dog’s fate.
Borough Council will next take up the issue at its September meeting.
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