Today, at 11 a.m., in a hearing, the two pitbulls accused of attacking a Myers Flat woman and forcing the amputation of one leg above the knee on January 28 were described as vicious dogs and sentenced to be disposed of. Their owner, Don Mertz, is now prohibited from owning any other dogs in the future.
The Animal Control officer, Taylor Pedersen, who appears in the video testified that when she arrived on scene of the attack, the two dogs, Huss and Sissy, were confined in the owner’s vehicle.
In order to reduce the risk of another person being bitten, the officer said she drove the Animal Control truck onto Mr. Mertz’s property, the gate was secured, she sat in the truck while a deputy sat atop the vehicle as Mr. Mertz moved the dogs from his vehicle to the truck. At one point, Sissy escaped but was eventually maneuvered into the truck, too.
Sissy was surrendered on scene, according to the officer, but the owner initially expressed interest in getting the male pitbull, Huss, returned to him. However, the next day, she said, he called and surrendered Huss also.
According to the officer, three people were bitten by the two dogs–Candis Danielson, her fiance’s brother, Kirk Swafford, and a third man, Dave Rath.
The officer said that Animal Control has “an extensive history” with the owner of the dogs which goes back to 2010 and which involves other dogs as well as Huss and Sissy. This led to Hus and Sissy being declared vicious dogs and the decision was made that they should be disposed of. As said before, Mr. Mertz is also prohibited from owning any further dogs.
Candis’s sister Shiann Davis who organized a GoFundMe to help with medical bills updated the site yesterday stating, “Candis has lost more of her right leg, with amputation above the knee. We’re hopeful she will be able retain and regain use of everything she has left… .”
*According to Samantha Karges, spokesperson for the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Department, “We are following the example of Humboldt County Superior Court and only livestreaming hearings as they happen, much like a typical hearing that is held in person – open to the public to observe at that time, not at any other time.”
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