Teen wasn’t Bettendorf dog’s only biting victim

The dog that bit a Bettendorf teenager a few weeks ago has a history of biting.

“You have a large dog that latches onto our arm, of course it hurts, but more than anything it just scared me. It was unprovoked,” said Shanen Norlin.

Norlin was playing kickball on October 15, 2013 at Crow Creek Park in Bettendorf when a dog, who was on a leash bit her on her arm leaving a bruise and teeth marks.

“The one just lunged at me and latched on to my arm,” said Norlin.

A dog owner herself, she did not want to make a big deal out of it, until she worried if the dog had all of its shots.

“When I called animal control, they said ‘What’s the dog’s name?’ I said Journey and she said, ‘Oh no, not him again,’” said Norlin.

Journey is also the dog responsible for biting a 13-year-old at Mark Twain Elementary on March 11, 2014.

The kid nearly needed rabies shots because the owner left the school and did not report the bite. The teenager was treated and released at a hospital for minor injuries.

Police frantically searched for him and three days later police said they confirmed the identity of the dog and that he was current on vaccinations.

“He’s been in some trouble before and I know it was on the table that they could possibly put down both of my dogs if there was another incident,” said Kirk Young, Journey’s owner.

Journey, a 4-year-old male German Shepherd, won’t be put down, but now has to get out of town. Young was served a letter notifying him that Journey was declared a vicious dog and has until March 31, 2014 to get Journey out of Bettendorf.

According to Bettendorf Police, since October 28, 2012, Journey has been involved in four biting incidents that have been documented.

According to Captain Kimball with the Bettendorf Police Department, on October 28, 2012, Journey broke free from his owner’s leash and was found by someone down by the Mississippi River. That person tried to pull Journey from the river and Journey bit that person on the hand.

On June 11, 2013, Journey and another German Shepherd got into a fight at the dog park at Crow Creek Park. The other dog had an injury over its right eye and had to get ten staples.

The next incident occurred on October 15, 2013 with Norlin.

According to Kimball, on November 12, 2013, he met with Journey’s owner, Kirk Young, telling him he needed to follow certain conditions in order to keep Journey.

Those conditions included keeping the city dog licenses and proof of rabies vaccinations on him, keeping a leash and muzzle on Journey anytime they were out in public or off their property, and Journey was banned from all city parks, trails, and bike paths.

Young has a female German Shepherd named Mia. According to Kimball, she was present at the June 11, 2013, October 15, 2013, and March 11, 2014 incidents, but was not involved in any of the bite incidents so none of those conditions applied to her.

When asked by News Eight how neighbors can trust his other dog, Young said, “I don’t know if they can, that’s for them to figure out. And I can tell you ‘til, you know, sun stops shining that they’re never going to hurt anybody, but I mean you just don’t ever know.”

And although he says he takes full responsibility for this latest incident, that doesn’t bring comfort to Norlin.

“He knew before going there that his dogs had a history of being temperamental, and then he took them to, of all places, an elementary school,” she said.

Young said he is taking Journey to Arkansas on Thursday, March 27, 2014.

On March 21, 2014, Kirk was charged with one count of Failure to Report a Dog Bite and one count of Animal Running at Large. Both are simple misdemeanors.


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