Dog May Be Euthanized For Nipping Child

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

SALEM, MO (KTVI)-- The push to save a lab named Phineas has gone international.  The dog was taken from his Salem, Mo family after it bit a neighbor girl.

What has Phineas supporters so upset is that this is not a case of the dog getting loose.  The bite happened in the dog owner`s own back yard.

The mayor of Salem ordered the dog to be euthanized after he read a police report that showed the dog had bitten others twice before.

Mayor Gary Brown says he`s received emails from as far away as Brazil with offers to adopt the dog.

Joe Simon is a St. Louis area attorney representing the dog owners.  He faults the mayor for never conducting interviews beyond the police report.  Simon showed us sworn testimony refuting the police report findings.

Patrick and Amber Sanders are the dog owners.  They spoke during the open comment session of Monday`s city council meeting.

"I don`t feel like its fair to make decisions based on not having the evidence to support it," said Amber Sanders.

"The family of the victim, they don`t want the dog put down," said Patrick Sanders.  "I don`t see how anybody would make the call."

Mayor Gary Brown showed us a picture of the injury he says was caused by the bite.  He says false information has spread about the case suggesting that the dog was provoked.

"It was an act of viciousness as she (the victim) was leaving the property," said Brown. "I would like for people to understand that."

Some Phineas supporters left Monday night`s meeting upset because they were not allowed to speak.

The mayor says the city requires anyone wishing to make a public comment to sign up ahead of time.  He said no is allowed to speak unless they are on the agenda.

City leaders did not answer any of the public`s questions on Monday night citing the fact that litigation is pending.

The dog was taken away from the family in June of 2012.  They are waiting for a judge`s decision to determine its fate.

Simon said his clients are willing to move the dog to a fenced in farm outside Salem.

The mayor says he would abide by whatever ruling the judge makes.

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.