Tiffany Eckart and Tyler Burbank simply want their dog back. But Animal Services has refused to return their dog to them.
It all started in January. Kane, a 7-year-old pit bull, was declared dangerous after he chased another dog, bit the owner and a gas meter reader. To keep Kane, Eckart and Burbark had to muzzle Kane.
In February, a neighbor complained about Kane running loose. When an animal control officer came to catch Kane, the dog nipped his leg and ripped his pants. Burbank was charged with a misdemeanor for a dangerous dog bite. Animal Services wanted to put Kane down, but County Judge Nick Nazaretian determined that Kane had been provoked. Kane got out of Animal Services, and Burbank pleaded no contest to the misdemeanor charge and received probation.
In April, during a visit to the veterinarian, an assistant accused Kane of biting her in the face. She dropped the dog on his head, and when she bent down to see if he was okay, he bit her. The woman needed 14 stitches on her nose and upper lip. Animal Services took Kane again. His owners were accused of allowing a dangerous dog to cause severe injury, a felony.
Animal control officials wanted to euthanize Kane because they said he was a threat to the community.
More than two months after a hearing on Kane’s fate, hearing officer John F. Rudy III issued an order saying that the dog had reacted in fear at the vet’s office. Rudy said the dog should be released to its owners.
But when the couple went to Animal Services to get their dog back last week, they refused to give Kane back.
The couple’s lawyer got an order from the county judge enforcing Rudy’s ruling. The couple went back to the facility with papers from the judge. After a two-hour wait at Animal Services, they were denied their dog again.
The next day, the county filed an appeal of Rudy’s decision. The assistant county attorney explained that the government had 10 days after Rudy’s ruling to file an appeal. Animal Services refused to return the dog because of advice from legal counsel.
The couple believe that the county is prejudiced toward pit bulls and is hoping he will die in Animal Service’s custody. They said Kane has scars on him, and he is in dirty conditions. They added that the county is buying more time, so he will waste away and die at Animal Services.
Kane remains on dog death row while the county tries to get the authority to put him down.