The Hot Beat


The second-day story, with your help. Call Gazette reporter Adam Belz at (319) 398-8273 or e-mail him:

Dog kills cat, dog must go. But must it die?

Mitch Bingham will get a letter later this week ordering him to get rid of his dog.

The Blairstown city council will decide whether that means death or the pound, or a farm in the country for Sam, Bingham’s two-year-old Alaskan husky.

The dog attacked and killed a cat in Blairstown on Monday while Jess Mangiaracina, Bingham’s girlfriend, was taking the dog for a walk.

The dog spotted a cat belonging to Deb Johann, and got excited. It was on a leash, but Mangiaracina was caught by surprise and the dog broke loose and chased the cat, named Jill, toward a tree in front of Johann’s house.

“The dog kind of jumped up and snatched him out of the tree,” Mangiaracina said.
Before long, the cat was dead. Mangiaracina put the cat’s body into a garbage bag, knocked on the door and talked to Johann’s daughter. She then called Johann.

“I apologize, but your cat wasn’t in your yard. It was just running around,” Mangiaracina said.

Johann, who runs a hair salon out of her home, was upset. The cat was nine years old, and had been with the family ever since they’d lost everything in a fire nearly a decade ago. Johann said her cats never leave her yard.

“They might think this was a minor thing,” she said. “It was a cat. But it was our cat, and she didn’t need to die that brutal death.”

She asks that, at a minimum, the dog be taken into the country.

“An animal like that doesn’t belong in town,” she said.

The two families don’t agree on whether the cat was in Johann’s property when the dog spotted it, but when it comes to the dog’s future, it really doesn’t matter.

Blairstown city ordinance requires that if a dog attacks another domestic animal and was “uncontrollable” at the time of the attack, the dog is “vicious” and must either be destroyed or sent to a humane society. Rodney Kubichek, the mayor of Blairstown, said two years ago the city council was lenient and allowed a “vicious” dog simply to be removed from city limits.

“In practice, what’s probably going to happen is he’ll just have to get it out of town,” Kubichek said.

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5 Responses

  1. i dont suppose there’s any chance of having Mitch Bingham put to sleep for being an irresponsible dog owner ?

    no of course we cant… anyway this story illustrates why it is so important to work with your dog and make sure this does not happen. please people, get some training for your dog .

    this cant be the first time the dog has taken off after something, you must correct them at all times.

    also, get the dogfather video, its a pretty good training video.

  2. concerned_citizen says:

    So if the cat is not in its yard and out in the street, seemingly unattended by its owner, and gets hit by a car, do you have to get rid of your car? Seems like there is just conflicting bitterness from both parties here, but I can’t see faulting a dog for acting on instinct if a cat is in itself technically uncontrolled enough to provoke such an instinctual response.

  3. Sue says:

    And this is why I keep my cat IN THE HOUSE unless she is being transported when she is IN A CARRIER. Jeez… wouldn’t this really be the fault of the cat’s owner?

  4. JANE DOE says:

    People have to realize that dogs are still animals with instincts. This cannot always be corrected. Especially in a case such as this where a husky was involved. They are bred for their endurance and survival instinct. It is a sad thing for both parties involved. I don’t know that blame can be placed on other parties. Animals are still animals.

  5. Animals are animals says:

    Too bad so sad. An irresponsible cat owner lost their cat because they let it run loose.

    The dog owner should have a SECURE hold on the leash AT ALL TIMES – but how is this any different than all of the animals the woman’s cat has killed?

    All the birds and rodents? It’s the same exact thing. Just because someone cares about the dead animal, doesn’t mean it’s any different. The dog doesn’t know that the cat is loved by the family – just as the cat doesn’t know if anyone loved the bird it killed.

    Be responsible and contain your pets.

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