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Christine and Faith

Christine Rebenitsch and her daughter, Faith Geiger, 7, were attacked by two dogs while walking in Mandan on July 22. The incident has prompted city officials to review its vicious dog ordinance and discuss ways to prevent dog attacks.

The owner of two dogs that attacked a woman and her 7-year-old daughter in July will have to pay $10,000 in restitution.

Antoinette Fleck pleaded guilty on Oct. 31 in Mandan Municipal Court to one count of violating the city's vicious dog ordinance. Judge DeNae Kautzmann ordered Antoinette Fleck to pay $10,000 in restitution and $500 in court fines and fees.

On July 22, Fleck's dogs attacked Christine Rebenitsch and her daughter, Faith Geiger, while they were walking near Second Street Northwest and 10th Avenue Northwest.

The attack left Faith with a broken leg and hundreds of stitches. Photos of her injuries were presented at an emotional Mandan City Commission meeting in August, when commissioners discussed revisions to the city's current vicious dog ordinance.

"I would hope that the Mandan City Commission is taking the necessary steps to try and prevent this again," Faith's father, Wes Geiger, said on Monday.

Wes Geiger declined to comment on the sentence Fleck received and referred questions about whether the family intends to file a civil suit against Fleck to their attorney, Damian Heuttl. Heuttl did not return a call seeking comment.

Faith, who used a wheelchair after the attack, started walking this past week, according to Wes Geiger.

"She’s not walking very well," he said, adding she will be in be in physical therapy "for a while yet."

City prosecutor Dan Nagle said the restitution Fleck was ordered to pay is for medical bills and lost wages. Fleck will pay $200 month starting next week, according to the criminal judgement.

Fleck also received a year of unsupervised probation, during which she is not allowed to have any dogs. The dogs were euthanized after the attack.

Mandan city commissioners are planning to change the city's vicious dogs ordinance, which states "no person shall own, keep, possess or harbor a vicious dog within city limits."

A vicious dog is defined as one "that, without provocation, bites or attacks human beings or other animals, either on public or private property, or in a vicious or terrorizing manner, approaches any person in apparent attitude of attack upon a street, sidewalk or any public ground or place."

City Commissioner Dennis Rohr said Monday that the commission will review a revised ordinance during the commission's regularly scheduled meeting on Nov. 20. The new ordinance seeks to increase the penalties for owners and better defines the control and restrictions of animals, he said.

The city attorney will get a final draft of the ordinance to city commissioners for the first reading on Nov. 20.

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(Reach Blair Emerson at 701-250-8251 or Blair.Emerson@bismarcktribune.com)

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Education and Health Reporter