TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The owner of a pit bull that fatally attacked a poodle in a Taipei park on Sunday (Sept. 13) is facing a hefty fine for violating the Animal Protection Act, the Taipei City Animal Protection Office (TCAPO) said in a press release on Tuesday (Sept. 15).
The incident came after an American pit bull terrier killed a poodle at a night market in Kaohsiung on Sept. 4. The TCAPO said that even though pit bulls look innocent, they can fly off the handle and attack when stimulated.
The Council of Agriculture has included pit bulls and five other breeds — the Japanese Tosa, Neapolitan Mastiff, Dogo Argentino, Fila Brasileiro, and Mastiff—as dangerous dogs.
TCAPO Animal Rescue Team leader Wu Ching-an (吳晉安) said that the office received reports at around 10 p.m. on Sunday that a pit bull had attacked a poodle at the Taipei Expo Park and that the smaller dog had died at the scene, according to CNA. An investigation found that the owner of the pit bull was responsible for the incident, as he had been walking it unleashed and unmuzzled.
Article 20 of the Animal Protection Act stipulates that dangerous dogs should be walked by adults while wearing a leash no longer than 1.5 meters and a muzzle that does not interfere with heat dissipation. Violating the regulation is punishable by a fine of between NT$30,000 (US$1,000) and NT$150,000.
The owner, surnamed Chen (陳), told the TCAPO that he did not put a leash or muzzle on his pit bull that night because it had never attacked another dog before. Chen said that when he saw the poodle nearby, he realized an accident could be imminent, but by then it was too late.
The TCAPO urges the public to report cases of aggressive dogs in public without a muzzle or leash by calling the "1999 citizen hotline" or the animal protection hotline: 02-8789-3064 or 02-8789-3065.