December 01, 2023

Woman, horse attacked by pit bull in Newton

A woman and her horse were attacked by a pit bull last week near Union Cemetery.

A dog named Kush bit both the victim and her horse while he was running at large last Tuesday morning.

Ralph R. Grau, 71, of Newton, is charged with violation of the vicious dog ordinance. Kush and his owner, Grau’s son Cory Foster, live with Grau.

According to the police report, Kush was running loose while on a walk in an open field on the Union Cemetery property when he encountered the victim who was riding her horse in the same field. The dog charged the horse, lunging at it and biting it in the tail and rear area causing numerous open lacerations.

The attack caused the horse to kick and knock the victim to the ground where she was then attacked by Kush. She sustained bites to her forearm causing open puncture wounds. Both the victim and her horse required medical attention.

Kush had previously been deemed a problematic dog by the city for a biting incident that occurred in February. Following the recent attack, he was placed in a 10-day, in-home quarantine.

With the vicious dog classification, Grau will now have to ensure the dog has a proper enclosure in a kennel, pen or structure that is six feet tall. It is also required to have a solid floor that the dog cannot dig under.

Grau will have to be able to provide proof of liability insurance, vaccination records and he must be neutered and micro-chipped.

The dog is not allowed to leave the property except for medical examinations and when he does he must be muzzled. Grau is also required to place signage at his residence warning of the dog. He has 15 days to comply with the new requirements.

Should the dog violate the ordinance again, he could possibly be impounded and re-homed or euthanized.

Since February, Newton Police Chief Rob Burdess said that seven dogs have been deemed problematic and two are classified as vicious.

Grau was charged with the simple misdemeanor for not having the problematic dog properly muzzled and restrained. He was cited and released to appear.

Contact Jamee A. Pierson at 641-792-3121 ext. 6534 or