Despite his 10 Olympic medals, a U.N. ambassadorship and his pro bono coaching work for the University of Houston, track star Carl Lewis won't be winning the "neighbor of the year" award at his Memorial Drive apartment building.
John Cannon with the Houston Police Department tells CultureMap that, on Nov. 13, the legendary athlete's two dogs — reported by BARC as a Springer Spaniel and Boxer — chased and killed a Yorkshire Terrier owned by Mary Lane, Lewis' fellow resident at the Memorial Cove Lofts.
Lewis' son, who was watching the two dogs at the time, told his father the incident started when the Yorkie began barking at the Springer Spaniel, which lunged after the small dog. The Boxer quickly joined the fight, killing the Yorkie and biting its owner as she tried to break up the battle.
Lane filed an HPD report the following morning, while BARC's animal control team placed the two dogs under a 10-day rabies quarantine, a standard procedure following any bite case, according to BARC spokesperson Christopher Newport.
Sources close to the Memorial Cove homeowners' association say that, after the attack, a letter was sent to the owner of Lewis' apartment — a corporate aviation service company called Wilson Air Center — requesting that the dogs be removed as per HOA bylaws.
But residents were up in arms this week when they discovered the Springer Spaniel and Boxer had returned to the apartment building. According to BARC, Lewis paid several hundred dollars in boarding and vaccine costs to retrieve the dogs on Monday after city veterinarians deemed them rabies-free.
For the city to continue handling the dispute, complainants will need to file a formal affidavit declaring the animals "dangerous." A hearing would follow, allowing each party to present evidence. If the dogs are determined dangerous, the city either will impose a number of requirements (fence, microchips on the dogs, etc.) on Lewis . . . or euthanize his pets.
Though Wilson Air could not be reached for comment, sources say the company appears to be working with building management to rectify the situation.