A Missoula man accused of using pepper spray on a woman and her dog while they were hiking in Pattee Canyon pleaded not guilty to a misdemeanor assault charge Monday in Justice Court.

Ronald J. Pagel, 66, was released on his own recognizance without objection from the county attorney’s office.

His attorney, Collin Stephens, told Justice of the Peace Karen Orzech that Pagel has a “legitimate fear of dogs” when prosecutors demanded that Pagel not possess pepper spray as a condition of his release.

According to the affidavit filed by Deputy Missoula County Attorney Jordan Kilby, Shenandoah Roath was hiking with her golden retriever in the recreation area on Oct. 26 when she heard a man tell her to call the dog.

Roath called to her dog, but the dog didn’t respond.

When the dog came within five feet of Pagel, he allegedly sprayed the dog in the face with pepper spray.

Roath said she was shocked and questioned Pagel, asking if he actually used pepper spray on her dog.

He said that he did in fact pepper-spray the dog and she threatened to report him.

But Pagel allegedly refused to give Roath any information. He then allegedly turned toward Roath and sprayed her in the face, while her dog rolled around in the dirt about 30 feet away.

According to the affidavit, Pagel then left Roath there as she yelled for help.

A few days later, Pagel went into the Missoula County Sheriff’s Office and met with Detective Scott Newell.

“Pagel stated that he has had many bad encounters with dogs throughout his life and therefore carries pepper spray with him in case he is confronted with a dog,” the affidavit stated.

He said he was walking in the area when he saw a “big hairy” dog come running toward him too quickly, so he sprayed the pet.

He told Newell that he and Roath started arguing and the dog came up behind her. He said he started to spray the animal again when the woman pushed him backward.

He said that when he lost his footing, he stumbled back and accidentally pepper-sprayed Roath along the right side of her face and her right arm.

“Pagel said there were people around and he didn’t want to deal with them, so he left,” the affidavit stated.

As a condition of his release, Pagel is not to possess pepper spray.

Reporter Kathryn Haake can be reached at 523-5268 or at kate.haake@missoulian.com.

(77) comments

jscott
jscott

I know this man. He put out the cloud of pepper spray to stop the dog before it got to him, and it didn't work. Then, this woman pushed him, and while he tried to catch his balance, more pepper spray was accidentally released. She is the one who assaulted him. A grandfather with a heart problem, bad back, and unsteady feet, just trying to get some exercise and fresh air. It is a travesty that he has to endure this public scrutiny and pay the legal fees because she broke the off-leash dog regulations, attacked him, and then lied to the police.

wildmtn
wildmtn

Pepper spraying the animal out of fear is understandable. Pepper spraying the owner out of anger and frustration because she was yelling at him is an assault and a crime.

hippies suck
hippies suck

wow, dog lovers actually making sense, this is great. for the guy comparing dogs to humans, this is insane. that's like saying you can't walk on the mountains unless you know "chinese". absolutely no logic. just deal with the fact that 99% of people don't know "dog" and keep that ANIMAL away from people out in public or suffer the consequences.

Snowcrest
Snowcrest

Irresponsible dog owners who have no control of their dog will mark the end of the good old days of having your 4-legged friend walking obediently by your side without a leash on.
Face it, if you have a disobedient, out of control dog that scrambles off to every person and every dog he sees while you're out on your walk and you expect that no one will feel threatened, then you are out of touch with reality.

LivingBlue
LivingBlue

Ha, I can see why dogs bite the lot of you here. :) Makes me laugh!

Objective observer
Objective observer

No kidding!

Run - A- Mook
Run - A- Mook

LivingBlue
"Ha, I can see why dogs bite the lot of you here :-)"

So you are saying, that dogs bite all of us?
Even O.o. below.

Nicholas
Nicholas

Gomez, I don't really think there's anything out there that says she was ranting and running at him, so I'd be interested to know where you learned that. I'm sorry, but if a dog approaches you in a park that you know is dog-friendly, you don't get to pepper spray it "just in case." Following your logic, he should pepper spray any dog that ever approaches him, because they could all attack him at any given moment. He was at a dog friendly, no-leash-required park. Nothing about this should have been surprising to him. If he really has a phobia of dogs like his lawyer says, it's incumbent on him to know that dogs are at that park and that he shouldn't go there. There's no version of this where it isn't originally his fault. I'd be completely on his side here if it happened in a public space that didn't allow dogs, and if he hadn't pepper sprayed the woman in the face. You can't call yourself the victim of a situation that you could have done a lot to keep yourself out of in the first place.

Gomez
Gomez

From the article;

"He told Newell that he and Roath started arguing and the dog came up behind her. He said he started to spray the animal again when the woman pushed him backward.

He said that when he lost his footing, he stumbled back and accidentally pepper-sprayed Roath along the right side of her face and her right arm."

She got in his face and she put her hands on him & pushed him. I don't know Mrs. Roath (who I assume is a perfectly nice person in most normal situations) but by the vitriol and anger displayed by some dog owners here it is no stretch to think that once her dog was sprayed that she became very, very angry & animated.

jscott
jscott

Wrong. Your dog must be under voice control, remain within 75 feet of you, and not come within 5 feet of another person. In addition, the dog must be back on leash within 200 feet of the trailhead. The owner and dog broke all of these regulations.

Biko
Biko

Spraying a dog is cruel and probably unnecessary but these comments indicate that there are strong feelings about this issue in Missoula. Spraying the owner is criminal, even if unintentional.
It has been my experience that most pets are untrained. In this case the dog did not respond to its owner, which is common. If a dog leads the owner, it is untrained. It is instinctive for a dog leading to call the shots. If the person being approached by the dog is not skilled with dogs there can easily be a misunderstanding, and no time to prevent an accident.
Analogies are inadequate because dog encounters are unique social predicaments. Nothing compares with allowing a dog to interact with complete strangers. I suppose one could dive bomb people with a remote control flying toy while shouting, "it won't hurt you."
In all seriousness, the threat of bring killed by a dog is not statistically relevant. But bites are not uncommon. And I know someone who was jumped by a friendly dog who suffered knee pain ever since. He got to his feet and managed to walk but within an hour it was apparent he was injured. He uses a walking stick now and says it helps with dogs just by positioning in the dog's path. But when a dog approaches him it is a very uncomfortable matter regardless what the dog chooses to do. It is inconsiderate to allow your dog to run at or even block someone's path, with or without a leash.

Gulio
Gulio

Whatever legitimate grief with dogs Ronald has, it doesn’t justify him spraying the Golden Retriever (arguably the friendliest dog breed in the world) and its owner. This guy is obviously mentally unstable – to put it mildly. I say to all you who are paranoid of dogs, educate yourselves or…stay home! You all are all just a bunch of whiners, who must not have anything real to worry about in your pathetic boring lives.

dcanist
dcanist

38 deaths by dog mauling annually. 14,043 deaths by homicide annually. 36,000 deaths by the common cold. Watch out if you have a runny nose, you may get maced.

Ross
Ross

Unleashed dogs hazard humans and wildlife. It is inconsiderate, selfish, and careless dog owners who foist their aggressive animals on innocent persons, don't prevent their dogs from chasing wildlife, and leave their animal's mess behind for others to step in. It's time for common sense dog control: Leash it, diaper it, or keep it in your yard

MeltingGlacier
MeltingGlacier

I love dogs and have two - my dogs are my children. But, I am originally from the eastern US, persecute me now, but I am appalled by the irresponsibility of many dog owners in Montana. Me and my leashed young dogs (still training for 100% obedience) are constantly approached by unleashed dogs, 99% of which are friendly but it's still an inconvenience, however, my 23 lb spitz has been violently attacked by an unleashed dog here and drew blood. It was the first and hopefully last time I ever have to kick a dog. The owner just stood idely by in apparent shock and didn't apologize. No one could have predicted the attacking dog was going to do that, so don't blame the guy in this article for not trying to interpret the dog's intent.

I now carry pepper or citronella spray almost every time I walk my dogs, with the intent to use it if I must, for aggressive wildlife, people or dogs. It's called self-defense, I don't care if it's someone else's pet. It's a threat to me and my children or property.

**I highly encourage the use of citronella spray if dogs, not bears, are the primary concern where you are hiking. It's just as adequate as a deterrent and doesn't pose the potentially harmful health risks as pepper spray, and it's typically cheaper.

Deadwolf
Deadwolf

For the record, I like dogs. I have no fear of them; respect, yes. I can discern an aggressive dog or a friendly pooch. On the other hand, my wife can not. She was attacked by a German Shepard as a young girl. She is afraid of ALL dogs and can not discern if they are aggressive or not. To her, all dogs are aggressive. She carries pepper spray when she walks. If a dog is "aggressive" toward her it will suffer the consequences. The problem is some idiots consider their dogs of more value than people. This is a mental disorder. If you walk your dog where there could be anyone else around, USE a leash! Not everyone puts your mutt on a pedestal. This guy needs to have a judge somewhere else, not Missoula. Common sense is no longer found there.

Amanda Lipsey
Amanda Lipsey

I can't comment on the actual story, as both the man and woman have different stories and I don't know which is the truth, but I did want to add to the conversation about leashing dogs. I have two dogs, one of which is highly trained and is under excellent voice command. If I tell him not to approach someone or to heel off leash, he does. I have spent countless hours and dollars training him to have this kind of recall. My other dog is a Great Dane mix, very young, and has no recall. I NEVER walk him off leash, because even though he is super friendly and pretty much loves everyone, he also is big and can be perceived as scary and also because he's big, can knock someone down in an overly friendly attempt to say hello.

I don't mind people walking dogs off leash as long as they are under true, real voice control. Too many times I've been walking my dogs (on leash) and someone lets their dog approach us off leash and even though I tell them to call their dog away, they somehow think that yelling "he's friendly" is enough. I don't care two bits if your dog is friendly. I don't want him approaching me or my dogs. I am training my dogs to have a certain dedication to recall and to perform certain tasks, if your dog doesn't listen to you when you tell it to leave someone alone, then it is not under voice control and it needs to be on leash, period.

What bothers me even more is when I'm biking with one of my dogs, using a bike-leash attachment, and someone's off leash dog starts to chase us. I'm sorry but "he's friendly" doesn't cut it. He is chasing us. I don't care if it's to say "hi" or "attack", I will react defensively to your dog because he is putting me and my dogs in danger. Again, if he/she does not listen to your commands, put them on a leash. As with my Great Dane, I would love to walk him off-leash, but we both have a better time if he's not upsetting someone, and I feel better knowing there is absolutely no possibility that someone will get hurt because of his friendly over-excitement.

On another note, I've seen too many people who claim to be afraid of dogs actually engaging with the dog as it approaches by making eye contact, arm/hand gestures, or otherwise speaking pleasantly to it. If you are afraid of dogs, do not engage with them! You can help the situation by not giving a friendly dog, whether on leash or off, your attention. Of course, this is no help with an obviously reactive or aggressive dog, but it amazes me how people who don't want to engage with my dog (on leash) will make eye contact with him, speak to him, and even gesture at him when they don't want him to bother them. If you don't want an otherwise calm dog to approach you or give you attention, then don't give it attention.

Last note: the commenter who noted the difference between a legitimate fear and a reasonable fear is right on. This man may have a phobia of dogs but whether or not there was any reasonable reason to fear the dog is another question. Personal phobias are not excuses to assault another person. And again, I don't know which details of this case are true or not.

I would hate to see places like Pattee Canyon or Blue Mountain require leashes, but I understand the reasons so many of the people commenting have griped about it. I hope those of you complaining about this can see that just as their are good and bad drivers that there are also people who do train their dogs and take responsibility for them just as there are people who don't.

Traveling93
Traveling93

I feel it was a bad encounter for the both of them, neither expected what was to have happened. I feel Mr. Pagel was within reason to have pepper sprayed the dog, it is unfortunate that the lady also got it. I don't know if I'd have stuck around either. I don't think dog rights trump human rights. Put them all on a leash. I also don't believe the judge was reasonable restricting Mr. Pagel from having pepper spray. What if he were to be in the woods again and encounter a "friendly" bear without being able to pepper spray it?

wheredjsgotodie
wheredjsgotodie

Ronald, don't worry. I carry bear spray not for the bears, but for people and their dogs too.

lukiedukie
lukiedukie

I feel compelled to comment as I know the victim and her dog. I've never seen her dog not wagging his entire body. He doesn't have an aggressive bone in his body. This man could legitimately be very afraid of dogs and he certainly does not know that this dog is so docile but I can almost guarantee it is not because the dog did anything aggressive just his own issues. The woman is level headed and kind but adores her dog and would be devastated that someone BEAR MACED it for no apparent reason other than it was there. Once that dog was bear maced it was not coming after anyone so everything that happened after that point was completely on this guy. She demanded his information and he bear maced her from close range and left her there. There were no other people around when she called for help for close to 10 minutes before anyone came to help her. She was blinded and left. He acted like a psychopath. He very purposefully bear maced a woman and her dog and left them helpless in the wilderness.

Gomez
Gomez

Last year 38 people were mauled to death by dogs in the United States. Nearly 4.5 million Americans were bitten by a dogs, half of these are children. One in five dog bites results in injuries serious enough to require medical attention.

http://www.cdc.gov/homeandrecreationalsafety/dog-bites/index.html

Yes, you say your friend's dog is nice, and I don't doubt you. But Mr. Pagel could not have known that. Also, your friend could not have known if, instead of a grown man, it might have been a child skipping down the path. I would be willing to bet in almost every single bite & fatality that happened last year that before it happened the dog owners would have sworn on a stack of bibles that their dog would never harm anyone. Just like your friend.

Keep your dogs under control at all times or suffer the consequences.

Nicholas
Nicholas

Please, Gomez. You say that like the dog bit him. The dog approached him, and he sprayed it. It wasn't completely unprovoked, I'll give you that, but it's about as close to it as you can get. If you were on trial for pepper spraying a person who was being out of control and your best defense was "he was running at me," I feel like your case wouldn't go over too well. He overreacted, that's all there is to it- unless you'd prefer to use another term for when somebody bear sprays another person in the face for asking for their information.

Gomez
Gomez

So he should have waited until the dog actually bit him before he defended himself? Right....

Yes, if an upset person is ranting at you and running at you the best they can hope for is you'd just pepper spray him. There would be no jury in the world that would convict you of assault.

Kahlotus
Kahlotus

Last year 12,765 people were murdered by other people (FBI Expanded Homicide Data Table 8). Perhaps we should just pepper spray anyone that walks past us or stands a little too close regardless if they're aggressive or not, just to play it safe.

Gomez
Gomez

You kind of skipped the part where 4.5 million people were bitten by dogs each year, sending almost a million to the hospital. If your only criteria to determine whether something may be dangerous or not is "Well, at least it's not ripping you to shreds" then you have a different standard of danger than I do.

Objective observer
Objective observer

Gomez, you kinda skipped the part where: "I've never seen her dog not wagging his entire body. He doesn't have an aggressive bone in his body. This man could legitimately be very afraid of dogs and he certainly does not know that this dog is so docile but I can almost guarantee it is not because the dog did anything aggressive just his own issues."

Sounds like you have issues too.

mountaincycle
mountaincycle

I haven't seen anything about forcing a dog on someone, that goes along with keeping your kids inline and not 'forcing' them on others in public areas. should every kid be on a leash also? do I have the right to pepper spray a kid who comes toward me quicker than I feel comfortable? i have to deal with others kids in my personal space more than i like but i would be arrested if i sprayed a kid or lambasted if i complained to the parents. my dog is trained to respond if he is not leashed and gets reminded of he fails to listen and put back on leash. I think the problem here is with the gentleman's perception of danger. how many reasonable people would walk a dangerous dog without a leash? I hope none. I have always marveled at how fearful some people are of dogs even when they are leashed. this dog didn't attack the man, didn't even touch him per the news article. there is a big difference between an actual threat and a perceived threat. both individuals here were threatened; he perceived a threat and she was physically threatened by his spraying the dog for what I'm guessing she perceived there was no reason to do, she knows her dog is friendly. while she shouldn't have pushed him away, she was trying to defend her pet from getting sprayed again and ended up in the line of fire. do we not also have the right to protect our loved ones as well as ourselves. blame can be placed in both parties but he jumped the gun and 'defended' himself from a perceived but imaginary threat. it's my guess this guy thinks/expects/perceives every dog is attacking him. maybe some fear counseling would do him some good; and maybe the dog needs a firmer hand at home or some obedience training. comes down to it that if it was my dog and i that got pepper sprayed because of this man's poor perception I would have also defended us. personal protection classes teach you to spread your pattern and send the dirt bag home to the worms....

jus wundrin
jus wundrin

Put your dog on a leash cycle. Maybe some personal responsibility would do you good. Not everyone likes dogs, nor can everyone apparently read others minds like you.

Roger
Roger

It's not about whether a dog is attacking - it's about keeping your dog away from others, even if your dog is friendly. Kids should be controlled of course, but your absurd scenario about the child is just senseless.

Gomez
Gomez

Last year 38 people were mauled to death by dogs in the United States. Nearly 4.5 million Americans were bitten by a dogs, half of these are children. One in five dog bites results in injuries serious enough to require medical attention.

http://www.cdc.gov/homeandrecreationalsafety/dog-bites/index.html

taxi-mom
taxi-mom

oh great ... take away his pepper spray and watch him get a gun instead ?? If he is THAT afraid of dogs, then that is what he will probably do. I leash my dog but if he got loose , I would much prefer he got a dose of spray in the face than a bullet.

Montana
Montana

Reposted: I walk/run a 6 mile loop near my home in the Bitterroot. I always carry pepper spray and do not hesitate to use it if a dog comes at me. What some dog owners can’t seem to understand is there are people who are AFRAID of your dog, period. Sometimes even the most friendly of dogs will REACT to that fear and become aggressive. I’ve had owners say “gosh I’ve never seen him act that way before.” I DON’T CARE keep your dogs away from me. I’ve told owners in no uncertain terms to keep the dog AWAY or I will pepper spray only to have them keep saying “oh he won’t hurt you” while the dog continues to approach with his hair standing up, teeth showing. Bottom line, I’m simply not going to take the chance. I was bitten by one of your “friendly dog” when I was young and ended up in emergency with LOTS of stitches. The dog owner just kept crying and repeating "I don't understand, he's friendly, he's never done that before". NOT going to happen again.

Everyday person
Everyday person

With or without leash laws, a person with dog is responsible for keeping that dog away from other people. Simple. Whatever a hiker's expectations should or shouldn't be, if a dog violates a person's personal space in a public place, that person has the right to kill that dog. In this case, the aggressor was the woman with aggressive dog, and she is lucky the victim didn't have a gun because he had perfect reason to shoot that dog. Furthermore, if the dog's owner attacks person and person feels in danger, then the person has the right to de-mobilize that person; if she physically assaulted him, he had every legitimate right to defend himself against her (minimizing damage while assuring the perp is immobilized). When I'm in the woods, which is almost every day, I go out of my way to help anyone who needs help (regardless of my personal bias or their own inconsiderate behavior), and I do my best to respect everyone's rights and personal space. However, pity the fool or fools (or their pets) who violate my personal sense of safety.

DonaldM
DonaldM

If the facts are anywhere near as reported in the news story the County Attorneys Office is engaging in a mlalicious prosecution.

He was fully within his rights to spray the dog, and to not give the lady any personal information, and if she did push him, she deserved to be sprayed.

Whether he had a "legitimate" or "pathological" fear of dogs is irrelevant; he had the right to defend himself from a "reasonable" fear of the dog or its master.

If anyone is to be prosecuted it should be the dog owner.

Roger
Roger

Yes, excellent comment - why isn't the dog owner being prosecuted?

Kahlotus
Kahlotus

Um, because she didn't pepper spray anyone in the face and her dog didn't attack anyone. Obviously, you're having a field day with this because it involves both a dog and a woman which you've expressed your disdain for many times in the past.

Objective observer
Objective observer

Bingo!

COMMON SENSE
COMMON SENSE

And I suppose all you pepper spray naysayers would be happier if Mr. Pagel had simply pulled out a .45 & turned the dog's head into a canoe? STOP ACTING LIKE A BUNCH OF ARROGANT HOLIER THAN THOU IDIOTS! If the dog was a stray this would not be an issue. Everyone would call it self defense plain & simple, animal control & FWP would be searching the woods for the offending stray in the interest of public safety. Case closed. Sounds to me like pepper spray was the right defensive weapon for the right circumstance. Did the pepper spray cause permanent injury to the dog? NO! Did the pepper spray cause permanent injury to Ms. Roath? NO! This guy perceived himself to be under attack from a presumably hostile animal and he reacted in self defense. We are still allowed to defend ourselves if attacked, yes? As for the assault on Ms. Roath, accidental vs. intentional, well folks, that's why we have these things called COURTS OF LAW!

DB1784
DB1784

Let's be realistic about leash laws here in Missoula. How often are they enforced? How many tickets are written? Leash laws are ineffective here. Obviously this guy is clueless about the Pattee Canyon area because NO one leashes their dogs in that area. When I am allowed to unleash my dog and she approaches someone, I always yell, "She is friendly!" ALWAYS. NO one has peppered sprayed me or my dog. I do agree with diapering dogs just like those s*** for brains!

PK67
PK67

I don't care if the dog is friendly. I don't have a dog. I don't want one and I don't want to deal with yours.

DB1784
DB1784

Let's get back to the issue PK. Do you walk where dogs are allowed to be off the leash? If so, you have to deal with them. As for my one dog of 1000s in Missoula, walk on by and you've dealt with mine. Not sure about others PK.

Roger
Roger

People shouldn't have to go somewhere else to hike, just because some dog owners are irresponsible - nope, nobody has to tolerate your dog, period. Use voice command or put your dog on a leash, or go somewhere else where your out of control dog cannot bother or attack people.

Nicholas
Nicholas

Then I would say that you and Ron Pagel should probably not go to a park that allows unleashed dogs. Something about your attitude tells me that most dog owners don't really want to deal with you either.

jus wundrin
jus wundrin

"I always yell, "She is friendly!"

And I know you and your dog.......how?

Put your dog on a leash dude. Obviously you are clueless to the fact that not everyone likes dogs, nor aware of any leash laws. Its just about YOU.

mountaincycle
mountaincycle

maybe he thought the dog was a wolf. if this happened up Lee creek in Lolo what would y'all say about they unleashed dog? seems like if this guy has killed the dog everyone would be calling for a lynch mob but since he just pepper sprayed the dog is all the owners fault, right?

Sheepdawg
Sheepdawg

The dog should be on a leash, period.

I'mafraidofAmericans
I'mafraidofAmericans

Why? The dog was in an off leash allowed area.

miner
miner

Because the owner was too lazy and/or dumb to control the dog, that's why.

Nicholas
Nicholas

From that comment I'm going to go ahead and assume you've definitely never owned a dog, miner. The thing about dogs is that sometimes they don't listen. That's how dogs get out of control, even when their owners don't want them to. Generally speaking, what you can do about this is to not walk in an area that doesn't require leashes, similarly to how most people who don't like black licorice tend not to show to up to black licorice conventions.

Sukey
Sukey

He can't carry pepper spray? Why not? Perhaps the woman shouldn't be allowed to have a dog. I like dogs, they like me. I've never been bit. Mine don't gallop towards anyone on public land. How does he protect himself hiking now? Concealed weapon? Perhaps this woman attacked him and scared him also, really. If the sexes were reversed, the guys dog ran toward her aggressively, she pepper sprayed the dog, then the male owner caused an altercation, could she say the guy scared her so she pepper-sprayed and ran? I'd let him off, put me on the jury. How does a guy handle an angry woman with a large dog? The dog won't do that again I'll bet.

Miss Perfect
Miss Perfect

The dog and the woman got what they deserved.......and if or the DA want to make a "Stink" of it, bring it on. The dog was out of control and got to close to the man. The negligent woman refused to restrain her dog, then put her hands on the man (Shoved him). She had to be restrained too.

Control your dog.......and your hands, or someone else will do it for you. I can imagine how much fun this woman's kids are at school.

wonderwhy
wonderwhy

what's with all the media coverage behind dog/human encounters? Is this something new? Newsflash: there will always be rude and inconsiderate people in the woods, as well as unleashed dogs. This is missoula. You live in the wrong town if you hate dogs old man.

Roger
Roger

What world do you live in, where you believe you can force people to tolerate the unwanted attention of your dog, which you can't or won't control? You should be locked up.

LosandfoundT
LosandfoundT

And... then he quickly fled the area!

LosandfoundT
LosandfoundT

He Pepper sprayed the Owner?

Miss Perfect
Miss Perfect

she is lucky that is all she got.

Objective observer
Objective observer

Yeah, maybe he should have shot her [rolls eyes]

LosandfoundT
LosandfoundT

And... then he quickly fled the area!
_________________________________
How Brave! You can have your Hero!

mountaincycle
mountaincycle

I've been bit by dogs and had to have stitches to close the wounds but I still own a dog. and he won't be leashed at pattee canyon or anywhere else he doesn't have to be. I'd kick this guy in the nuts if he ever threatened my dog with pepper spray for running up to him to quickly. that's what friendly dogs do, say hi to people because they love the attention. 'legitimate fear of dogs' come on, did mom not breast feed?

miner
miner

Unfriendly dogs also run up to people. As we have no way of knowing which dog is friend and which is not, I'll pepper spray first and ask questions later. Don't like it? Control your dog.

jus wundrin
jus wundrin

I have a legitimate fear of mountain bikers. Too many close calls on the trails without even an "excuse me". Ive always wondered about the arrogance of such people......now I know why. Its not just about YOU, and YOU dont own that canyon. Leash your puppy.

mslamaster
mslamaster

I love dogs and have been owned by many through the years but if your dog is going to run at people then you'd better have them under control or face the consequences. I'm sick and tired of unleashed dogs jumping on me, "attacking" my dogs, and basically being out of control. I run frequently and I don't trust any dogs whether they're Goldens or Dobermans. Keep your mutts to yourself.

Aberdeen
Aberdeen

His lawyer says a "legimate fear of dogs"; I'd re-phrase that to a "pathological fear ....."!
Lots of really agressive and violent Golden Retrievers prowling Missoula area! Maybe we should treat them like wolves that eat young children?

Bittersweet
Bittersweet

Ahhhhh yes, probably a great place to go hiking for someone who has a "legitimate fear of dogs" Roger will be all over this one.

Run - A- Mook
Run - A- Mook

@bitters

Here we have the mighty judge bitters, Mr. know it all.
Maybe Mr. Pagel has a "legitimate fear of dogs."

Oh, I haven't heard from Roger all day.

Bittersweet
Bittersweet

What you fail to take into account is having a "legitimate fear" of something does not justify attacking someone.

Let's say Pagel also has a "legitimate fear" of people in huge foam swiss cheese wedge shaped hats. Would it be a good idea for him to go to a Packers game and would it be OK for him to assault any person with a cheesehead hat on just because he was scared of them? Claiming to have a personal "legitimate fear" and protecting yourself against a real threat are two very different things.

Furthermore, it's a bit creepy that you insist on bringing me up in so many of your posts in the past few weeks. Is it you have a "legitimate infatuation" with me young lady? Gag.

Objective observer
Objective observer

His behavior is becoming erratic and his comments increasingly non-sensical.

Alan H Johnson
Alan H Johnson

Not a court in the world would convict you of spraying someone in a cheesehead hat! ;-)

miner
miner

The pepper sprayer did not attack anyone, he simply defended himself from both dog and owner, which he has a right to do.

Ross
Ross

It's high time that the Forest Service require dogs be leashed in Pattee Canyon, there are just too many irresponsible dog owners for it not to be. Unleashed dogs course deer and menace innocent hikers. Irresponsible dog walkers also don't pick up after their animals, it's time for accountability Missoula.

tinlizzie
tinlizzie

Really Ross? He intentionally pepper sprays a dog and "accidentally" sprays the dog's owner. Give me a break - if he goes where dogs are walked and he has a big fear of them, he should avoid the area.

Ross
Ross

Really Tinlizzie? I mentioned only legitimate issues regarding the use of NF lands and take no position on the hiker in question. In addition to being leashed, dogs should be diapered as well.

Run - A- Mook
Run - A- Mook

@tin

Let me see if I understand you. Mr. Pagel has to subjugate his
rights as a tax paying owner of Pattee Canyon, to some unleashed
dog. Give me a break.

jus wundrin
jus wundrin

Remember who your dealing with run, these folks think of their dog as a child, and should be afforded the same "rights" of said child. This same emotional thinking is carried into other realms of their lives.

Draw your own conclusions from there.

Roger
Roger

It's outrageous that Pagel was charged at all for defending himself from a possibly aggressive dog. Ross is correct - the Forest Service needs to implement a leash law or ban dogs entirely from the Pattee Canyon Recreation Area, because so many dog owners can not or will not control their dogs, and refuse to clean up after them. The attitude of some dog owners is that you have to tolerate the unwanted attention of their dogs.

jus wundrin
jus wundrin

And just where are dogs not walked? Hiked many a trail in the western states, and ran into many unleashed dogs. So where are these dogless places?

msonelson
msonelson

I couldn't agree more ROSS. I've been menaced by aggressive dogs several times and bitten one time too many. I'm simply not going to put up with dogs that the owner either can not or will not control. Run your dog loose if you want but if he threatens me or my leashed dog he's getting a snoot full.

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