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Dog owner charged with keeping vicious animal

The most recent dog bite done by Oreo on Dec. 23. (Courtesy of Washington Police Department)
The most recent dog bite done by Oreo on Dec. 23. (Courtesy of Washington Police Department)
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WASHINGTON — Dog owner Zach Cotterman has been charged with keeping a vicious animal.

On Dec. 23, police received a report of a second dog bite from Cotterman’s dog Oreo. Cotterman was charged with violating a city code stating “no person shall keep, shelter, or harbor for any reason within the City a vicious animal.”

“Oreo had previously been labeled as a vicious dog by the Washington Police Department on 10/8/20 after she had bitten and injured another person. Mr. Cotterman is being charged with violating city of Washington, IA code 55.17 Vicious Animal,” according to the court filing.

The first time Oreo bit, the City Council overturned the police and city administrator’s decision to deem the dog vicious. At the time, council members acknowledge that they are able to work in shades of gray, while the police chief and city administrator had to work in black and white.

After the second bite, Police Chief Jim Lester determined the dog to be vicious after an investigation. Cotterman appealed the police chief’s decision. On Jan. 5, the City Council affirmed the police decision, determined the dog to be vicious after the second bite and ordered it be destroyed.

Cotterman’s court date is scheduled for 9 a.m. on March 4.