Family dog takes rap for attack

Roberto Del angel makes a plea to the Tracy City Council on Monday to not classify his black lab as a “vicious dog.” Del Angel’s dog attacked another dog in November, leaving it with substantial injuries. The council denied the appeal. Photo / Per Peterson

City council denies family’s ‘vicious dog’ appeal

By Per Peterson

A family dog in Tracy now has a record.

Despite a plea from a Tracy family, the City Council on Monday backed the Tracy Police Department by unanimously voting to classify the family’s black lab as a “vicious dog” after it attacked another dog.

Monday’s public hearing stemmed from a Nov. 9, 2021, incident in which the lab, owned by Roberto Del Angel, attacked a chihuahua that was being walked by its owner, Barbara Anderson, according to a report filed by responding officer Jordan Markegard.

Neither dog was leashed at the time of the incident.

Tracy City Attorney Matthew Gross said it was up to the family to present evidence that would change the council’s mind, “either that the dog didn’t engage in that attack as said, or that it was provoked in some way.”

Tracy Police Chief Jason Lichty told the council that Anderson told him Monday the vet bill was about $500.

“The vet said she couldn’t believe that the dog made it,” Lichty said.

Markegard reported that Anderson told him she was walking her dog on South St., then turned on 8th St. As she continued to 8th and Morgan, the lab was let out of the Del Angel home and attacked the dog, leaving it with life-threatening injuries. According to Markegard’s report, the chihuahua’s stomach and intestines were protruding from the abdominal area after the attack. Anderson brought her dog to the veterinarian in Tracy, and the dog was successfully operated on.

No photos of the dog were supplied.

The report indicated that the Del Angel’s neighbor, Jeff Blowers, who was at the house at the time of the incident, called the lab back to the house after the attack and helped Anderson get her dog to the vet.

The police department sent a letter to Del Angel dated Dec. 2, informing the family that the lab will be classified as a “vicious dog.” The letter advised the owner that if the animal was neither removed from city limits nor euthanized, the family would have to follow several requirements if they want to keep it in town, including confining the dog indoors or enclosed in a locked kennel, muzzling the dog when it’s out of the kennel or house, and placing a sign in their front yard that a “vicious or dangerous” animal is on the premises. The family will also be required to provide proof of liability insurance to the city administrator, in the amount of $50,000.

See this week’s Headlight Herald for more on this article.