Pit bull once placed on 'death row' gets second chance
NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -
A dog considered vicious and sentenced to death is now getting a second chance. The pit bull killed another dog, but what happened in court caused the judge to reverse his ruling.
The pit bull/lab mix named Junior is now locked up in Metro Animal Control, caught up in an eight-month-long court battle.
"Junior's a really nice dog. He's a super bouncy, super spastic dog," said Jean Harrison, attorney for Junior's owners.
"He needs to get out of here. Being locked up that long has an effect on a dog," said Billy Biggs, with Metro Animal Control.
Sentenced to death at first, Junior is now getting a second chance.
In September 2012, Junior and a small bichon got into a fight in an Antioch neighborhood, and the smaller dog was killed.
Reportedly, there was no witness to the attack.
"Nobody knows exactly what happened. There was a dispute of fact as to whether the little dog enticed it or not," Harrison said.
In court, the woman who owns the small dog claimed not only had Junior killed her dog, but he'd also bitten her, too.
That's when a judge deemed Junior "vicious" and ordered him put to sleep.
However, Junior's owners appealed and were adamant their dog did not bite the woman.
Harrison took a closer look at the case and found on the police report the woman told police the dog did not bite her.
"When someone says to the police, 'I was not bitten,' and is asked repetitively, and then says, 'I was not bitten,' but then has a very different story at the court level, that - to me - is a red flag," Harrison said.
Now, because of uncertainty over what really happened, Junior will not be put down.
This month, a judge is expected to sign a settlement sparing Junior's life under the condition he leave Tennessee and be sent to a rescue.
"In this case, this dog definitely deserved a second chance," Harrison said.
The son of the woman who was bitten by Junior explained that she originally did not think she was bitten, so that is why she told that to police. It wasn't until later, when she checked herself closer, that she realized there was a bite mark.
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