Lucky’s grieving owner pleads to Placer supes for tighter vicious-dog rules

By: Gus Thomson, Journal Staff Writer
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Placer County supervisors heard the heartbreak of the tragic loss of a beloved pet from a pitbull attack. And then they were asked Tuesday by the dog’s grieving owner to do something to prevent more of the same. North Auburn’s Delta Wilson-Ricky lost her poodle, Lucky, two weeks ago when an unleashed dog bolted from North Park and attacked the pet as she held it protectively in her arms. Wilson-Ricky told supervisors that the county should consider new regulations, including only allowing vicious dogs off their owners’ property wearing a choke chain and muzzle. She’s also asking for tougher regulations to, as she puts it with no hint of humor, “put more teeth” into current regulations that can allow a dog to run free again after a single attack. “The two-strikes law is absolutely ridiculous,” Wilson-Ricky said after making her plea during Tuesday’s public comment period. Wilson-Ricky and her dog were attacked as she walked in her North Auburn neighborhood. She was physically uninjured but her poodle didn’t survive a fatal bite by the pitbull. The owner was remorseful and apologetic but Wilson-Ricky said more needs to be done to prevent future attacks – even to the children of the family the dog belonged to. “I’m petrified for the two young children,” Wilson-Ricky said. “With the slightest provocation, one of those children could be dead.” Now on the record, Wilson-Ricky’s comments can be considered by the county for future action. Supervisor Jim Holmes said before the meeting that he would be willing to move her request along to see what could be done. Wilson-Ricky, a former executive director of North Auburn’s Multipurpose Senior Center, said she would like to see a town-hall meeting as a next step. “I made an impression,” Wilson-Ricky said. “You’d have to be Attila the Hun not to be touched by the plight of my broken heart.” Wilson-Ricky’s stance has gained supporters like the Humane Society of the Sierra Foothills. The society’s Rosemary Frieborn said Tuesday that dog attacks similar to Lucky’s death are epidemic in Placer County. “In fact they’re probably epidemic in California,” Frieborn said. “I think the board needs a resolution for swift and decisive responses to a dog’s unprovoked aggression. At the pinnacle of the resolution is public safety.”