SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Ozarksfirst.com obtained incident reports from Springfield Animal Control regarding the dog attacks that occurred on December 20 at Willard Intermediate South.
An officer stated in one of the reports they were called to 630 S Miller Road at 12:35 p.m. for dog bite victims. The officer stated a woman told them she was looking for her two dogs. The report later identifies the woman as Jenna Evans, who owned the two pit bull mixes.
The report states the officer went inside the school and determined there were around five to eight people with dog bites. The report explains the officer looked at the security video the school provided. The officer said in the video, two dogs came from a neighborhood to the playground and ran towards the kids on the slide. The students started running away, but the dogs were seen biting, snapping at, and knocking over some of the kids. Teachers then helped the kids and defended them. The report also includes graphic images of the dog bites.
In another report, an officer explains how the dogs reached the playground. The report states the dog owner’s brother was writing a statement at home when the dogs ran away. The officer states in the report owner Jenna Evans mentioned one of the pit bull mixes had never been vaccinated and the other was. Evans gave both dogs to Animal Control. The report ends with the officer stating possible citations Evans’ could face, as there are specific requirements pit bull owners must follow in Springfield city limits.
“It has been required that pit bulls or pit bull mixes in the city limits of Springfield must follow the registration requirements,” Administrator of Environmental Health Andee Elmore said.
Springfield city council approved the ordinance back in 2006. It includes six requirements pit bull and put bill mix owners must follow:
- Register pit bull and pit bull mix with the city
- Pit bull and pit bull mix needs up-to-date rabies vaccination
- Pit bull and pit bull mix must be spayed/neutered
- Pit bull and pit bull mix must be in six sided enclosed pen if alone in the backyard
- Pit bull and pit bull mix must be on a leash and muzzled during walks
- Owners must have sign on any entrance where the dog is kept
“Pit bulls are the only dogs that are required to be registered under this ordinance,” Elmore said. “However, if there is an animal that has violated the ordinances and becomes declared a vicious dog, they have to file the registration in the same way that they would if they owned a pit bull.
In the report, an officer stated Evans’ should receive municipal citations for failure to vaccinate for rabies, failure to register pit bulls inside city limits, and vicious dogs.
“For a first violation of the pit bull ordinance, there is a minimum $500 fine or up to 100 hours of community service,” Elmore said. “For additional violations, there are more strict penalties.”
KOLR10 reached out to Municipal Prosecutor Patricia Sullivan about these citations. Sullivan said the citations are currently under review because Animal Control did not issue them at the time of the attack.
KOLR10 also reached out to Jenna Evans, the owner of the pit bulls. She sent a statement sharing her concern and regret about the incident:
“I pray for every person who is hurt. My heart hurts very deeply. I am so sorry for everyone who was in a horrible situation. I am so sorry that my dogs hurt you or you all were scared. I can’t imagine what you all felt or the pain it has caused. Those dogs never showed any type of aggression to anyone. They were socialized a lot and this was most definitely out of nowhere. They played with my kids. Never ever hurt or bit or were mean. But I did what was right to let them go. To say all this, I am so very sorry and deeply heartbroken over this. I hope everyone that was involved including the families will forgive.”
Willard School District is discussing what it can do to prevent something like this from happening in the future. The district encourages neighbors to be aware of their animals around school campuses.