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Dog Attack Victim's Husband Wants Stricter Laws

After a dog mauls his wife, a Hot Springs Village man demands stricter dog ordinances.
HOT SPRINGS VILLAGE, AR -- A day after a bullmastiff mauled and killed his wife, one Hot Springs Village man is demanding stricter dog laws in his community.

Hans Kappen is devastated over the loss of his wife, but he's also angry.

Hot Springs Village Police told us his 75-year-old wife was taking a morning walk when the bullmastiff attacked her.

The dog wasn't leashed or behind a fence and right now in Saline County, that's not against the law.

Police say the dog wasn't supervised when a family member left it out of the home Thursday morning.

Something Kappen says should be against the law, especially for certain breeds like bullmastiffs and pit bulls

"People should be responsible for the dog," he said. "They should know that, and I believe our government officials should recognize that, recognize they are vicious."

In the Saline County dog ordinance, it mentions making sure your dog is licensed and not being allowed to abandon your pet.

But there's no mention of making sure your dog is leashed or behind a fence when outside.

So, in this recent case, the owners weren't disobeying the law, and so far no charges have been filed.

"It's a very tragic and an uncalled for, unnecessary loss of a life," Police Chief Gary Adams said.

He says there are laws against vicious dogs in Saline County, but a dog isn't labeled vicious until after it's attacked another person or animal.

"In this case, we have no evidence to indicate this dog ever had any episodes, at least not in our community. So, it has not, to our knowledge, ever been classified as a vicious animal," he said.

Kappen says that's not right.

"It's been happening time and time before and it needs to stop," he said.

He says he'll fight for breed-specific legislation and stricter leash laws in his community to protect others from suffering his sorrow.

The investigation is ongoing.

The county prosecuting attorney will decide whether the dog owner will be charged, but most law enforcement officials we've talked to say that likely won't happen.

The bullmastiff was euthanized Thursday after the attack, at the request of its family.

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