Couple wants law changed after family dog killed by larger dog

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Laura Kennedy, WISH – GREENFIELD, Ind. (WISH) — After a deadly dog attack, a family is reeling from the loss of its 5-year-old dog, Rosie.

The chihuahua died after being attacked by a larger dog at a campground in Hancock County, near Greenfield.

Diane and Jeff Sims are angry about losing their beloved dog. But they are also upset that there are no laws in Indiana or Hancock County for repercussions when a dog attacks another dog.

A nightly walk turned deadly for the Sims' dog Rosie. They say a large dog attacked the chihuahua.

"That's all I ever see when I go to bed or close my eyes. I can feel that dog pulling the dog out of my hands; it's horrible," Jeff said.

They took Rosie to the vet, but she died the next day.

"At two o'clock in the morning, we tried to race down there to say goodbye to her, but we didn't make it," Diane said. "She had already gone."

Unfortunately, the Sims found out that aside from filing a civil law suit, there are no legal repercussions for the large dog or its owner.

"There is no state law for animal attacks unless they are on a human," Greenfield-Hancock Animal Management Director Amanda Dehoney said.

And according to Dehoney, in Hancock County there are no local ordinances to fill the state law gap.

"Our hands are tied on a lot of things," she said, "They're just pretty much unenforceable because there are no ordinances for Hancock County."

The large dog was quarantined at its home, the only recommendation in state law for these attacks.

But that's not enough for the Sims.

"He got to be quarantined for 10 days, so what?" Diane said.

"There's got to be some sort of law or change so they're not easily allowed to do that without repercussions," Jeff said.

Dehoney said she feels for the owners and is actively working to make that change.

"We have sent down ordinances that we revised that we are wanting to incorporate in Hancock County, and it is something we hope to have done in the very near future," she said.

The Sims said the large dog's owner has informally offered to help pay for Rosie's vet bills.

The owner of the campground said the dog didn't have any history of aggression.

A conversation about whether the dog will be removed from the facility hasn't happened yet, but the owner said that is a possibility.

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