PUBLISHED: 4:47 PM on Wednesday, July 26, 2006
Dog attacks children for second time
What had been fear based on experience became reality for the Larry and April Jackson family Sunday, July 23, when the dog residing next door on Kanat'a Deyi Street in Juneau attacked two neighborhood children.

Sam Westika's black Labrador retriever, Patch, ran lose from his home and attempted to attack the face of 5-year-old Harmony Dunlap. Harmony's sister Nicollette, 11, picked up Harmony and turned away from the dog. Both girls were taken to the emergency room and suffered minor bites, said their mother Shawna Dunlap.

"It doesn't really matter if there is even a scratch on those children, because they went out perfect," April Jackson said.

Jackson's daughter Sylinia, 11, was attacked by Patch in January when the dog went after her younger brother Larry Jr.

"I'm completely grieved that this happened again," Jackson said. "It just really saddened me that this happened, and it's brought the whole experience back again."

Jackson said she has been concerned since her daughter was attacked because Patch has been kept in the yard next door behind a low fence and on the same collar he slipped out of when he came after her children.

Two weeks ago she placed a call to Animal Control to report that Westika was out of compliance with city ordinances concerning the animal out of fear that the animal would again attack. She said she didn't push the issue because she didn't want to cause trouble for her neighbor.

"This is the most sickening feeling that you were right about something so horrific," Jackson said.

"What more am I supposed to do? I knew about this animal and that it was dangerous because I've been living next to it for six months, but how many more animals are within compliance?"

Animal Control and Westika did not return calls made by the Capital City Weekly as of press time Monday, July 24.

Shawna Dunlap, mother of the girls attacked Sunday night, said she knew about the Jackson accident in January but wasn't aware the dog was still in the neighborhood.

"The girls are OK, but there are holes in their bodies. It's just been scary for them," Dunlap said.

"Thank God it wasn't worse than what it was."

Dunlap said her daughters were walking home from the park when Patch ran toward them. Nicollette, who was holding Harmony's hand, picked up her younger sister and turned to avoid being bit in the face. Harmony lost a tooth in the shuffle, and both girls were bit from behind before Westika could run after and control the dog.

"They need to do something about that dog before he hurts someone again or kills somebody," Dunlap said.

"There's something about that dog's social skills. When it gets lose it wants to attack."

Dunlap said she called the police after the attack to press charges, but was told the issue would have to be handled by Animal Control.

She said Animal Control came to the Westika house, but Monday the dog is still tied up in the backyard.

"You have two hysterical mothers here. There are a group of children sitting here wanting to act," Jackson said.

"I told them we needed to let the authorities handle it, and my daughter looked at me and said 'they're not protecting us.' She's 10-years-old, and she has to believe in these people."