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Woman solves attacking pit bull problem with handgun

Originally ran here as:
Pit bull shot in attack on woman
2001 Blethen Maine Newspapers Inc.
Thursday, March 29, 2001

HARPSWELL, Maine A local woman was defending herself when she fired a single shot from her 9 mm Smith and Wesson semiautomatic, killing a pit-bull terrier that was attacking her, authorities say.

Ramona Patterson was standing in her front yard Tuesday when Jade, a neighbor's dog who had attacked her before, ripping her clothing, charged her and began barking viciously and nipping at her, authorities say.

This time, the 32-year-old mother was armed.

Patterson was not charged, but the dog's owner, Harold Owen, must go to court to answer charges of keeping a dangerous dog and letting it run loose.

The violent confrontation follows a series of incidents in which Jade, who was just a year old, and his mother, a pit bull also owned by Owen, have been accused of terrorizing neighbors.

"This dog has had a considerable history, this one and the mother of it," said Dick Wyer, the town's acting animal control officer. "The town itself was going for a dangerous dog decree on him, but hadn't got around to it yet. If you have a dog that's a biter, or attacks people, it can be deemed a dangerous dog" and the town can take it or order it destroyed.

Owen, who lives nearby on Harpswell Road, said Jade must have slipped his collar, said Sgt. Tom Williams of the Cumberland County Sheriff's Department. Owen insisted the dog was no threat and called him a lap dog.

But Patterson and her 12-year old son Zachary told police a different story.

The roughly 70-pound dog had chased them before and had bitten Patterson. None of the injuries were serious, or broke the skin, Williams said.

"There's been several incidents. So far luckily no one has been seriously hurt. A lot of clothing torn and bite marks, but not major skin breaks," Wyer said.

Neither Patterson or Owen could be reached by telephone.

Wyer said problems between Owen's dogs and neighbors have been occurring for the past six to eight months with Jade, and longer than that with the dog's mother.

On Tuesday, just before suppertime, Zachary Patterson was walking to his mother's house when he spotted Jade standing on Zachary Way, the private drive they live on.

"From what I can gather, her son was coming down from a relative's house," Wyer said. "He let out a bellow 'cause the dog was coming after him. His mother went out and the dog decided to make a run at her and that was his big mistake."

The dog leapt at Patterson who was about 90 feet from her front door, Williams said. She shot once, knocking the dog to the ground, went inside, set down the gun and called the sheriff's department.

The dog crawled to a nearby snowbank and died.

"This time he was coming at her," Wyer said. "She's been gotten before, so I can't say I blame her."

Staff Writer David Hench can be contacted at 791-6327 or at:

NOTICE: In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed, without profit, for research or educational purposes. We do our best, as well, to give credit to the original news source who published these Guns Save Lives stories out of respect and appreciation for their willingness to spread the word that Guns Save Lives. God Bless the Americans that publish these stories - for assisting Americans in hearing the truth.


Printer Version

After having thus successively taken each member of the community in its powerful grasp and fashioned him at will, the supreme power then extends its arm over the whole community. It covers the surface of society with a network of small, complicated rules, minute and uniform, through which the most original minds and the most energetic characters cannot penetrate, to rise above the crowd. The will of man is not shattered, but softened, bent, and guided; men seldom forced by it to act, but they are constantly restrained from acting. Such a power does not destroy, but it prevents existence; it does not tyrannize, but it compresses, enervates, extinguishes, and stupefies a people, till each nation is reduced to nothing better than a flock of timid and industrious animals, of which the government is the shepherd. Alexis de Tocqueville

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