Los Alamos dog owner Janet Sprake has been cited in Los Alamos Municipal Court for having a dog at large and menacing behavior by her dog following an incident early Sunday morning in which a summer student was bitten by an unleashed dog while running in Bayo Canyon.
The Los Alamos Police Records Division is not releasing the victim’s name because the case is still active, however he is reportedly undergoing medical treatment.The incident occurred approximately half a mile east of the Diamond Drive traffic circle trailhead.
According to social media statements by Greg Buntain whose family is hosting the student at their home, Sprake was walking with two unleashed dogs on the trail. The dogs were allegedly well ahead of her when one of the dogs, possibly a shepherd-husky mix, allegedly lunged at the victim’s face and when he turned away, he was bitten on his back. Buntain said the owner identified herself at the scene as Susan Davis but the student, not realizing the ramifications of the bite and being in shock, took no further information.
The LAPD Records Division said the incident was reported to LAPD Sunday, the citation was issued Monday to Sprake and that the dog remains in quarantine. Cmdr. Preston Ballew would only confirm that the owner was cited.
According to Buntain’s account, LAPD was unable to locate “Susan Davis” so he launched an attempt to identify the woman through social media and was contacted by someone who said they were almost certain they could identify the dog’s owner.
Buntain said they went to the owner’s home and met the owner who denied having a dog matching the description and denied being in Bayo Canyon Monday. He said as they were leaving he told her they were really anxious to find the person because otherwise the student would need to get the series of rabies immunization shots. After they returned home, the student suggested returning to the owner’s home and asking to see her dogs because the more he thought about it the more sure he was that she was the owner he had briefly talked to. In the middle of that conversation, Buntain said the owner called and admitted it had been her dog.
Buntain said the student initially was not going to press charges but upon reflection decided to report the incident because she had lied to him three times, provided a false statement at the time of the incident, denied being involved when confronted and finally claimed that the dogs were immunized.
Although failure to vaccinate is listed as an offense in the Los Alamos Municipal Code, Sprake does not appear to have been cited for her dogs not being immunized. No date has been set for her court hearing before Judge Alan Kirk.