A woman whose dog was killed by a group of three dogs is hoping the City of Howell will initiate a public awareness campaign on what responsible pet owners need to know.

Veronica Evans was walking her two small dogs, a shih tzu named Peyton and a maltipoo named Milo, when three dogs came out and attacked them in the area of West and Wetmore Streets on February 25th. Evans told council during Monday night's meeting that the maltipoo was destroyed while the shih tzu was in the intensive care unit for ten days. She was also injured. Legal action is being pursued against the owner of the three dogs involved, and two have since been ordered euthanized by a judge.

Evans is championing what she calls “Milo’s Mission” and would like the city to embark on a public awareness campaign related to leash and licensing laws. She still has safety concerns and suggested council consider ordinances limiting the number of dogs per household. Evans told council she would do whatever possible to educate the community that dogs have to be on a leash and can’t run loose. Evans noted the great response from the police department and strangers who came to her aid when the incident occurred, as well as how much she loves the city. She commended five individuals in the neighborhood who witnessed the attack and came to her aid the day of the incident, including two men she said heard her cries for help and risked their lives for her. One of her neighbors has even started a fundraising page to offset the costs of veterinary care. The link is below. Evans was bitten and says she’s nearly certain her injuries would have been much worse and her other dog might not have survived.

Supporters in attendance called it a traumatic event for the community and one that does raise public safety concerns. Evans pointed out that there are limited Livingston County Animal Control officers to conduct enforcement and there have been two fatal dog attacks in less than two years within a one mile radius.

Council members and Mayor Nick Proctor offered their condolences to Evans and suggested she also share her story with the Livingston County Board of Commissioners, which has oversight of Animal Control. Proctor noted some owners will let their dogs run loose in the cemetery, which is not permitted. Mayor Pro-Tem Steve Manor commented that there are a lot of dogs in the Howell community but only a small percentage have licenses.

City Manager Shea Charles told WHMI Evans expressed concern following the February attack and asked the city to assist with a public awareness campaign so that owners understand animals need to be on leashes and licensed, basically all of the things responsible pet owners do. He says it was a very tragic situation for Evans and she also asked the city to look at ordinance amendments and limiting number of dogs on a property. Charles says staff will be researching that and bring information back to council in roughly four weeks for input. (JM)