PINECREST (CBS4) – Miami-Dade Animal Services says a pair of dogs are tied to the deaths of at least 11 cats in Pinecrest in the past six months.
CBS4 has learned a county ordinance caused a huge delay in the investigation by the proper authorities. Without that delay, Animal Services investigators might have been able to officially identify the owner of the dogs sooner and possibly prevent some of the cat killings.
“It was a shock to find two of our cats mauled the way they were in our front yard,” said Alexandra Guillard-Burdett. “We found them in the front yard on January 13th. One of them was the sister of our other cats. We were horrified. We didn’t want the kids to see them. When I saw them, we called police.”
“It was very upsetting to me,” said her husband Al Burdett. “To see them like that and these were cats that were part of our family.”
“We can’t have this happen again,” Alexandra Guillard-Burdett told CBS4’s Peter D’Oench. “Right now, cats have been attacked. Next time, the dogs could attack people.”
Megan Northland, the owner of the dogs said, “I feel terrible about the attacks that my dogs are being blamed for. This was terrible. While I know they are responsible for a number of them, I don’t believe they could be responsible for all of them.”
Animal Services said Northland’s Golden Retriever and Great Dane Lab mixes could be tied to more attacks.
“I’ve done everything I can think of to prevent this from happening again,” said Northland. “I’ve spent $6,000 on a special kennel and invisible fence that shocks my dogs if they try to get out. I hope this never happens again. I’m sure it won’t.”
Northland’s son, Keefe, said that the dogs had been able to get away from the home because of construction going on at the house.
Animal Services supervisor Sean Gallagher said the first cat attacks occurred in July. But the owners did not realize until January that they had to file a signed affidavit for the the county’s Animal Services to investigate. That’s required by a county ordinance.
It meant that Pinecrest Police could not officially investigate and there was a long delay. It’s a delay that some cat owners wish never happened.
“We can’t have this happen again,” Guillard-Burdett said. “Now we know.”
Gallagher said anyone who has a complaint about a potentially dangerous dog should file an affidavit with the county.
In this case, Northland’s dogs are part of an investigation. If the county rules that they are dangerous, then she could be fined up to $500 a dog.
Northland was given citations in January.
After our report about this story at 5 pm, two other cat owners who live next to Northland came up to D’Oench and said they had witnessed Northland’s dogs kill their cats.
“I saw my cat killed right in front of me,” said Suzanne Winters. “It was terrible.”