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Dog attack victim wants supes to toughen up regulations

By: Gus Thomson, Journal Staff Writer
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A North Auburn great-grandmother whose dog died after being attacked by an off-leash pitbull is taking her case for tougher laws to the Placer County Board of Supervisors. Delta Wilson-Ricky, 76, had scooped up her dog, Lucky, when she saw a pitbull approaching. But Lucky was still bitten as she held it in her arms and her dog died soon after being taken to a veterinarian. Two weeks after the attack just outside North Auburn’s North Park on Parkway Place, Wilson-Ricky will be approaching the five-member county board Tuesday with a plea to require vicious dogs to wear muzzles in public parks and have microchips imbedded in dogs that have attacked. She said her goal is to prevent another pet death – or even a human death. “It’s been two weeks since Lucky died and it’s been hard for me,” Wilson-Ricky said. “Basically, I feel like someone whose child has been murdered.” The former director of the Multipurpose Senior Center in North Auburn, Wilson-Ricky said she has already drawn support from friends for her proposal and expects a contingent to be at the board’s public comment period. The comment period – in which members of the public can address any issue not being addressed on that meeting’s agenda – starts shortly after the meeting begins at 9 a.m. Wilson-Ricky said she’s not picking on a specific breed and will be requesting that vicious dogs of any breed have microchips imbedded after their first attack to ensure they can be tracked and identified. During the attack, Wilson-Ricky was pushed back into the bushes by the thrust of the dog. She said the owner – who apologized profusely after the attack – had to pry the snarling dog’s fangs out of Lucky’s flesh. Wilson-Ricky continues to live in fear. “I don’t feel safe now,” she said. “I try to walk twice a day but now I feel too frightened to walk out without my husband. And I’ve never been afraid in my life to walk in my neighborhood.” Supervisor Jim Holmes said that he would be willing to help move Wilson-Ricky’s request along to see what the county can do. At Tuesday’s meeting, board members can’t act on an item not placed on the agenda but can request that it be considered on a future meeting’s agenda. Wilson-Ricky’s drive for tougher standards has the support of Cool resident Linda Ball. “Why people don’t understand why their dogs belong on leashes is beyond me,” Ball said. A resident of the Auburn Lake Trails community in Cool, Ball said that her two grandchildren and another child were recently bitten by two off-leash pitbulls that were on the loose from their home about a mile away. “It could have all been avoided if the dogs were fenced in properly or had been on leashes,” Ball said. “People just don’t understand that animals can appear to be the sweetest things in the world but turn and bite if they are scared or have a mean attitude at times.”