"I thought I was going to have a heart attack!" Woman fighting $40,000 fine after her dog got into trouble

WEST ALLIS (WITI) -- A West Allis woman tells FOX6 News she's fighting a $40,000 fine! This, after her dog bit another dog more than a year ago.

Jessica Rahm says her 12-year-old German Shepherd/Husky mix Emma has a bark that's worse than her bite.

"She gets along with everybody!" Rahm said.

But in September of 2013, Emma's pearly whites got Rahm in trouble -- the kind of trouble that could cost the family a staggering amount of money.

"40,000. I thought I was going to have a heart attack," Rahm said.

Police say Emma bit a neighbor's dog. Three days later, city officials say Emma was sinking her teeth into another dog.

"Her claw scratched the other dog, and the dog needed one stitch," Rahm said.

Rahm was issued citations for harboring a vicious dog. City attorneys say Rahm was given several extensions to get in compliance with city code -- like making the dog wear a muzzle outside, and posting a "dangerous dog" sign on her home to warn others. Those things never happened.

"The court found her guilty but I asked the court to stay the case until December 16th to get her one last shot to get in compliance with this order,"

If she still isn't in compliance...

"They are fining me $100 a day for 400 days," Rahm said.

"That`s what the law is.  That`s basically what the court said.  That`s what you could be possibly facing - the $40,000,"

Rahm says she's now in compliance, but she needs to register Emma as a "dangerous dog" with the West Allis Police Department.

Attorneys say they likely won't press for the full fine.

"You would think for $40,000 that she would have killed a person or something," Rahm said.

Rahm could have settled this months ago by paying a much smaller fine -- but she says she didn't realize that was a possibility because the matter was still being debated in court.

The matter will be before a judge again in December.