Two large dogs attacked and killed a small dog on April 23, within the Friday Harbor town limits. The owner of the dogs, Tiffany McCann, was charged with a public nuisance infraction at the hearing on May 24. She was ordered to pay a fine of $125, along with restitution fees of $340. Both dogs are now labeled as dangerous dogs, which means, according to San Juan County Sheriff Ron Krebs, the owner must register them as dangerous dogs, which costs $500 each.
“The owner has 10 days to comply,” said Krebs, adding that owning a dog listed as dangerous is expensive. According to county code, a dog labeled dangerous must also have $250,000 insurance and a microchip embedded under their skin to keep track of their location. Because of the expense, owners in this situation may opt to give the dog up for adoption, he said, adding that euthanasia, putting the dog down, is the last resort.
“We have had to do it, but if there are other options where the dog can live a long life without harming anyone, that is the preference,” Krebs said. He also noted that the owner had contacted the sheriff’s office to let them know that she and the two dogs had moved out of the county. If she moves within Washington state, the sheriff’s department may write a letter alerting that county of the dangerous dog status, according to Krebs. Whether or not she would be required to register the dogs as dangerous in the new county depends, since animal laws vary.