WINFIELD, KS -- A trial date has been set for a Winfield man who is appealing a city judge's ruling that calls for the man's pet pit bull to be humanely destroyed.
District Court Judge Nick St. Peter has set the bench trial for 9 a.m. Aug. 5 at the Cowley County Courthouse in Winfield. Because the infractions associated with the appeal are relatively minor, defendant Aaron Cole is not entitled to a jury trial, so Judge St. Peter will decide if the animal is spared.
Cole was cited for dog at large and no city dog license following an incident the morning of May 15 in which his two pit bull dogs were said to have gotten loose and entered a local home.
The home's owner, who has not been identified by name, said she awoke to find the dogs in her house and her pet poodle the victim of an attack. The poodle died.
The woman had been sleeping with the back door of her home open so her dogs could come and go to use the restroom, according to police.
Cole has not disputed the charges for which he was cited. Instead he has appealed city judge Tom Herlocker's determination that one of the dogs, a male named Seven, is vicious and should be destroyed.
The incident happened in a neighborhood on E. Sixth. Seven was captured by Winfield Police and has been in the custody of the court ever since.
A female pit bull was returned to Cole and his family. [WHY?!!!!]
The city has until July 8 to notify the court if it intends to hire an expert witness. The defense has until July 18 to make the same notification. Pretrial motions are to be filed by July 18 as well.
The city agreed to make the dog available to the defense should any testing or examinations be necessary. Judge St. Peter also said Cole can make an arrangement to have the dog housed at another secure location – such as a kennel service – if that could save him money on the cost for housing the animal.
The expense of caring for the dog while the case is appealed is left to Cole.
(NewsCow - June 28, 2011)