In the very near future, the Lapeer County court system will be making a very important decision on the fate of the two remaining dogs that attacked an Almont Township woman last February. The third dog was shot by a police officer and later euthanized. The story is quite involved and incredibly scary, especially for the victim. Very soon the lawyer for the owner of these Caucasian Ovcharka dogs will try to convince a judge that they are just 150 pounds of cuddly fur and that and this was all just a freak incident.

I am hoping that the judge will not forget the horrible incident and death of a 46-year-old jogger in Metamora in 2014. Craig Sytsma was just jogging down the road when he was attacked. Those dogs were also huge, untrained, vicious. They were on the loose due to human error. I’m sure this is something Lapeer County has not forgotten. It was just horrific that these dogs were actually considered to be family pets! That someone would have so little regard for their neighbors and their community to own and allow these creatures to be loose. It takes a special type of person to think that their canine kids are over and above their human neighbors’ safety and lives!

Lapeer County has a decision to make. This decision will be for the safety and welfare of an Almont community. A decision that the victim and her neighborhood will have to live with!
She could have easily lost her battle with these three dogs. She recalls that one had her head and one of the other dogs had her leg! She said she was yelling and trying to cover her neck. Thankfully a neighbor driving by rescued her.
Later Lapeer County Animal Control officers and an Almont police officer were also charged by these supposed “gentle giants.” This attack was cut short by one of the dogs being shot. I cannot imagine being put in that situation. I commend all three officers for their heroic actions that day! I applaud the Almont police officer for his quick reaction to a dangerous situation.

I hope and pray that our Lapeer County court system will also follow up with the same educated decision. If those two remaining dogs are returned and allowed to live in that neighborhood, I can’t believe anyone would feel safe. Will parents feel safe letting their children play out in their own yards? These are not normal dogs. They are not safe pets! Caucasian Ovcharkas are a working breed, born and bred for specific needs. Fences can be put up but there is always the gate or door that can be mistakenly left open or a fence can weaken and give way—human error that could very well cause a human injury or death again!

Please keep our community safe! Please listen to the people who witnessed this incident. They are the ones that know and experienced what these animals are capable of.

I have respect and confidence that we have put the right people in office to make these decisions for our community.

—Paula Alfonsi,