Man Bitten By Dog Owned By City Councilman That Led Push For Pit Bull Ban

A city councilman in Sioux City, Iowa who led a drive to ban pit bulls in the city is waiting to find out whether his Labrador retriever will be euthanized for the personal injuries a neighbor suffered after being bitten by the dog.

On June 30, Councilman Aaron Rochester said that he had filed an appeal of the Sioux City Animal Control’s determination that his family’s yellow lab is vicious after the June 27 incident in which the injured neighbor required a trip to the emergency room for five stitches.

Sioux City Police Capt. Pete Groetken said that he held a hearing on the appeal and would reach a decision by the week whether to uphold Animal Control’s decision or overturn it.

The 3-year-old dog named Jake is currently being held at the Animal Control shelter until a resolution to the case can be reached.

At approximately 4:45 p.m. on the day of the incident, a man and woman who reside in the same neighborhood as Rochester and his family walked by their home. The dog was sitting on the front porch at the time. According to Groetken, as the couple passed the house on the sidewalk, the dog ran off the porch and jumped onto the man.

As the neighbor attempted to push the dog away, he suffered a scratch to his right let, some marks on his chest, and bites to his thumb that required five stitches at a hospital emergency room. Groetken would not reveal the man’s identity because the investigation is ongoing.

Rochester says that on the day of the incident, he and his wife were holding a birthday party for their youngest child, Kate. He said that his wife was inside the house, Kate and a friend were playing outside, and he had left to drive his eldest son to work at the time of the incident.

Rochester says that his wife “heard something” and called the dog to come inside, which he did. He speculated that the dog may have been watching the children and believed them to be in danger. 

The dog was impounded that same day by an Animal Control officer. According to Rochester, someone at the hospital called the police to report the attack, which is standard practice.

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