Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Neighbor’s dogs ruined life, Darling St. man says

Ben Card says he can’t tend to his garden in Wilkes-Barre for fear of being attacked.

May 19. 2013 11:33PM

By - jlynott@civitasmedia.com - (570) 991-6120

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WILKES-BARRE — The muddy paw marks remain on the outside of Ben Card’s back door from when his neighbor’s dogs chased him into his house.

He still won’t go into his backyard for fear of the animals crawling under a fence and menacing him as they did two years ago.

“They’re ruining my life, basically,” said Card, 43, a disabled veteran living on Darling Street.

“I don’t want the dogs in my yard,” he said.

The garden he planted of apple trees, blueberry bushes and vegetables is overgrown with weeds and high grass.

Card said he was bitten by the pit bull on his foot and attacked by the Rottweiler that he ended up shooting and killing on Sept 11, 2011.

Police reported the dog was shot several times.

Card said he was treated at the Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center because the bite penetrated his work boot into his left big toe. He still wears the boots.

He said he has attempted to have the city animal enforcement, the state dog warden and police intervene.

“Nothing,” he said was the response. “Nobody wants to do anything.”

A message left with the city Health Department Friday was not returned.

A message left with his next door neighbors the Cooks was not returned.

He has put his house up for sale and is looking to move out of the area.

A friend and fellow veteran Richard Shudak of Glen Lyon said he witnessed the dogs try to get into Card’s yard when the two men were preparing his garden.

Shudak brought a cultivator down to turn the soil. Afterward they were raking it, he said.

“They were coming in his yard,” Shudak said. “Because I had a rake I kept them at bay.”

The neighbor eventually heard the commotion and called them back, he said.

When the neighbors left for a few months last summer Card was able to go back to tending his garden, Shudak said.

But now that they’re back, Card won’t go back there, Shudak said.

“It’s a shame that he can’t even go in his own backyard,” Shudak said.

The situation can be remedied by simply fixing the cyclone fence that the dogs crawl under, he said.

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