Pip & Lily Leave Death Row

Pip and Lily Leave Death Row


It was a tearful scene Tuesday at Happy Dog Inn as Pip and Lily left "death row" and were transported out of Clay County.  Tears of sadness that they would be leaving after being kept there for months, tears of joy that their lives were spared and they would be given a second chance at life.  At two years old, they have a lot more life to live.

Pip and Lily were ordered euthanized after they accidentally got out, attacked a dog and then bit a Clay County woman who was holding the attacked dog over her head.  In a trial that was held several weeks ago, the judge heard testimony from a dog behaviorist that the dogs were not people aggressive and could be rehabilitated.  A person also testified that he would be willing take the dogs to another county and be responsible for the their care and training. The owner of the Happy Dog Inn testified that while they had been in her care, they had been model citizens.

 The trial also illustrated problems with the process of declaring dogs dangerous in Clay County.  The initial hearing before the fire chief did not meet due process, it was argued, because the county failed to present any justification for the seizure, impoundment and classification of the dogs.  The context of the hearing was prove to us your dogs aren't dangerous, and if you don't, we will classify them as dangerous.  The court expressed reservations about whether such a hearing complied with minimal due process. After the trial, the county explored settlement, which resulted in an agreement to allow the dogs to be declared dangerous but not euthanized, with transport to another county where the dogs would be registered as dangerous.

I want to express my gratitude to the person who agreed to take the dogs, without which a settlement would not have occured. I want to thank the owner of the Happy Dog Inn for testifying and keeping the dogs safe during all the appellate proceedings, and to Marcy Lahart, who fought hard to save these dogs lives. Finally, thanks to the County, for working with us to find a way to give these dogs a second chance. 

A great ending to what could have been a tragic story. Good luck Pip and Lily, and savor every minute of freedom.





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Helping to defend our best friends. Dangerous Dog Law (DDL) focuses on the legal defense of allegedly dangerous dogs. DDL is a member of the Pit Bulletin Legal News Network.

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