WEST VIRGINIA -- The fate of a Mount Hope dog at the center of a storm of controversy is reaffirmed by the West Virginia Supreme Court on Friday.
In an unanimous decision issued on January 6, 2017, the justices upheld a decision in Raleigh County Circuit Court to have the dog 'Jasper' put down.
The legal fight started in 2015, when the state filed a petition to have the Whippet mix euthanized after claims by two parents that the dog bit two girls, aged four and eight, on three separate occasions in 2015.
The parents alleged that the final attack in March of 2015 resulted in substantial injury to one girl's arm.'
As a result of those injuries, a Raleigh County magistrate judge ordered for the canine to be put down and the decision was appealed to Raleigh County Circuit Court, where it was upheld. That decision was reaffirmed by the West Virginia Supreme Court in January.
Following the high court's decision, it will be up to the Beckley-Raleigh County Animal Shelter, where the dog has been housed, to have the canine euthanized.
In a 2015 interview with WVVA News, an attorney for the shelter said the dog has been on good behavior since its arrival that August. The attorney said the shelter even had a trainer come in to evaluate the dog.
"We want a happy ending,” Valerie Harvey said. “We believe that we can find a home for him without children or send him to a rescue without children or even a sanctuary. And if nothing else, he can stay here at the animal shelter with us just so we can keep his life."
This is the problem with the whole 'no kill' shelter movement. They think a live in a cage at the shelter is a life worth living. And even if they sent the dog off to a rescue, who's to say it won't get loose someday and attack some children down the street?
A dog attack in Raleigh County has a mom upset with an animal welfare group.
Angela Houck said her daughters Maile, 4, and Mia, 8, were viciously attacked by a dog, Jasper, on three separate occasions outside their home in Mount Hope.
Although the dog has since been removed from the neighborhood, the family is calling into question efforts to save the dog's life in Raleigh County Circuit Court.
"To be steps away and hearing their screams, seeing the blood, you can't explain it unless you live it. To see what it's like to have your two daughters ripped apart by a vicious dog," said Houck. "After the third attack, at some point, you have to choose, your kids or your dog, and there's no question.
Houck's attorney, Gerald Hayden, said that a fundraising site that was started to save the dog has reopened old wounds.
"It's severe, the emotional trauma as well as the physical trauma you can see from the pictures. You have two little girls that are frightened. They recently moved. There are physical wounds but emotional wounds as well," added Hayden.
That's because The Humane Society of Raleigh County, Inc clearly doesn't care about spending all their donated money trying to save a vicious dog.
An attorney for the shelter said the dog has been on good behavior since its arrival last August. They have even had a trainer come in to evaluate the dog.
"The physical scars, we see them every night when we bathe the children, but it's the mental scars that are the worst. They have nightmares," said Houck.
(WVVA - Jan 11, 2017)