What are Environmental/Animal Court cases?
Environmental/Animal Court is a court dedicated to not only keeping the City of Wichita safe, but beautiful. Cases encompass everything from dogs running at large to tall grass and weeds or bulky waste on a property. Most cases that involve victims on this docket are after the defendant has received a citation for allowing dogs to attack or bite.
What is a Dangerous Dog Hearing?
Animal Control, which is a division of the Wichita Police Department, in order to protect the community, can make an administrative determination that a dog is dangerous or potentially dangerous based on certain criteria. The individual will then be notified of the determination and Animal Control will put restrictions on the dog such as annual registration, liability insurance, and/or mandatory dog enclosures. The defendant has the right to appeal the decision of Animal Control to the court. There will be a hearing set in which victims can speak to the judge about the dog. Victim letters are not typically sent for these type of hearings since they are scheduled quickly for safety reasons. You might receive a call from the Victim/Witness Advocate about your availability for the hearing.
Who can be a victim of a dog attack/bite?
Victims of dog attack/bites can include both human and pets. You, as the owner, will be listed as the victim on the case even if it was your animal that was attacked or bitten. You may also be listed as victim even if there was only an attack by the animal that did not include a bite as the ordinance includes both situations.
What should you do to prepare for this court date?
If you had to seek medical attention for you or your pet, please keep your receipts. If you are listed as the victim, you will receive a letter in the mail with a Statement of Loss to keep track of your out of pocket expenses. Please keep all receipts and provide them to your Victim/Witness Advocate listed on the letter. Our office can never guarantee that a judge will order restitution, but if you provide documentation, we will ask.