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Thursday, May 11, 2017

BAD DOGS at 727 Hook Avenue in W. Columbia, South Carolina

8/21/2017 update - I've now confirmed that at least one other person had witnessed the dogs chase people and had informed W. Columbia police.

8/19/2017 update: Animal control officer Emily Alford "forgot" to take video of the dog attack but filed a report, #1717914. And just for the record, the name of the W. Cola. police officer I emailed complaints to for several months is David Myers. TOTALLY INEXCUSABLE THAT THE DOG OWNER HASN'T BEEN FINED. Law enforcement's latest song n dance is that the attack animal control witnessed only counts as the first offense and therefore doesn't warrant a citation. Ms. Alford also suggested that the dogs may have been upset because of high frequency noises generated by spinning bicycle wheels. In other words, the dog attacks were somehow my fault.

6/28/2017 update - Spoke with someone yesterday who used to walk by the property and was attacked by the same one of the dogs that came after me. The guy said he was armed, had started to draw his weapon on one occasion, but didn't want to shoot the dog, so he had decided to change his walking route. Real shame that W. Columbia refuses to protect people from vicious dogs.

6/5/2017 and 6/16/2017 updates - On 6/5, W. Columbia animal control officer and two other people WITNESSED the largest of the dogs attack me - getting my foot in its mouth - as I bicycled by the property. I had to kick at the dog and dismount in the oncoming traffic lane. Almost fell. 6/16 - W. Columbia STILL refuses to issue a citation to the dog's owner, claiming this latest incident only counts as the first complaint since it's the only attack they've witnessed. I won't belabor the mind-numbing stupidity of W. Columbia's response.

I bicycle by this property, and the dogs first attacked me in December of 2016, coming into the road, teeth bared, getting within inches of my foot. I complained to animal control, and an employee came by my house, listened to my complaint, and said she would speak with the dogs' owner. I thought it kinda strange that I wasn't asked to sign anything, but I figured a warning would be sufficient for a first time

Another attack happened in January 2017, at which time W. Columbia no longer had an animal control department, and I was advised (via Lexington County animal control) to contact W. Columbia police, which I did. They assured me that they had spoken with the "elderly lady" who lives in the house, said the dogs belonged to her children who were out of town, and extra precautions would be taken to make sure the dogs were restrained.

In March 2017, one of the largest, most aggressive dogs came after me again, and I kicked and yelled at the dog while simultaneously riding my bicycle. So I complained to the police, informing them that this was my third complaint since December, but they refused to issue a citation to the dog's owner.

So I consulted an attorney who advised me to complain to Lexington County Sheriff's department, which I did via their website, but I didn't even receive a reply. Then I exposed the situation on Twitter and Facebook, which resulted in an ambiguous reply from W. Cola.

Then I sent an email to Lexington County Councilman Ned Tolar. His "method" of handling my complaint was to ask me to contact him by phone (I had emphasized that I didn't have a phone), and he refused to reply further by email. Perhaps Mr. Tolar doesn't wanna state things in writing. Then again, maybe that was just his lamebrained way of avoiding the matter. Or maybe there's some part of "I don't have a phone" that ol' Ned just can't figure out. Whatever, the jerk is one sorry excuse for a councilman. With the likes of Ned Tolar and Nikki Setzler in office, it's no wonder that government is unresponsive to people's needs.

At this point, it's anyone's guess what will happen next. Meanwhile, if you're in the vicinity of 727 Hook Avenue, YOU'VE BEEN WARNED.

6/4/2017 update - Found a Ned Tolar unstamped flyer on my mailbox yesterday encouraging people to email him about anything. Distributing flyers in such a manner is illegal, and of course ol' Ned didn't say he would email ya back... Probably won't do any good, but I filed a complaint.

5/26/2017 update - another attack by the largest dog coming into the road, teeth bared. Had to yell and kick at the dog while riding my bicycle. On my way back home, I saw a Lexington sheriff's deputy parked alongside the road, and explained the situation to him. He rode by the property and called W. Columbia animal control (apparently they now have one - maybe my tweets got someone's attention), and one of their vehicles showed up at the property. I told their employee what had happened (FOURTH complaint) but they continue to refuse to issue a citation to the dog(s) owner. Something is terribly wrong with this picture.

5/12/2017 update - A reliable source says the problem revolves around W. Columbia relying in the past on Lexington County animal control, but deciding the cost of county service was too high, and pulling out of the deal. Sounds like W. Columbia and quite a few other entities need to be named in a lawsuit if someone winds up with serious injuries or gets killed due to animal attacks.

5/11/2017 update - My pleasure to tweet links to this post to the City of W. Columbia, the W. Columbia police department, the Lexington County Sheriff, and Ned Tolar. In Tolar's case, to make sure he got the message, I also sent him a link via email.