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Originally published Tuesday, October 28, 2008 at 12:00 AM

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Dog killed on Portland bus

PORTLAND — TriMet, which increased security following a series of high-profile assaults involving humans, is now faced with a brutal case of dog-on-dog violence that left one small dog dead.

PORTLAND — TriMet, which increased security following a series of high-profile assaults involving humans, is now faced with a brutal case of dog-on-dog violence.

The attack happened late Sunday afternoon when Leroy Morley and his 50-pound Rottweiler mix were walking toward the front of the bus to exit in North Portland, said Peggy LaPoint, a spokeswoman for the mass transit agency.

Marie Kelemen, the owner of the victim, said the bigger dog neither growled nor barked before breaking the neck of Buddy, the 7-pound Pomeranian that bled to death in her lap.

Transit police responded to the scene. Morley was allowed to leave, but has been barred from riding TriMet buses and trains for 30 days.

Kelemen, 59, of Portland said the penalty is not severe enough. "It was horrible," she told The Oregonian newspaper. "It was terrible. That's why 30 days is ludicrous."

The Pomeranian was a service dog and therefore authorized to ride the bus. The larger dog was not.

The case has been referred to Multnomah County Animal Services, spokesman John Rowton said. "But we haven't seen the report, and we're waiting for a copy of the video from the bus' surveillance camera."

TriMet's Web site states that service dogs are allowed to ride buses and trains but must be kept on a leash or in a carrier. The definition of a service dog is broad. According to the Americans with Disabilities Act, a service animal can be "any guide dog, signal dog or other animal individually trained to provide assistance to an individual with a disability."

Kelemen said she has a doctor's note that authorized Buddy to be her companion dog. "He was such a nice little guy," she said. "It's awfully quiet without him."

Copyright © 2008 The Seattle Times Company

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