I am so mad I could spit nails. This is completely wrong. Ok, I am sorry. I’ll give you the background first. I got the Springfield News-Leader this morning & on the first page I read the following story.
Barty the pit bull put down amid controversy
Nuisance committee had yet to submit decisions; owner shares last meal.
After a last meal of Ice House beer and hot dogs, Barty the pitbull mix was euthanized Thursday at the Springfield Animal Shelter.
His owner, Sandy Kelley, was allowed to say goodbye to the dog — she brought him his favorite treats — after Health Department Director Kevin Gipson decided the dog had to be euthanized.
Gipson made the decision without waiting for a recommendation from the Greene County Vicious and Nuisance Dog Committee, which met last week to hear a case for the first time.
Barty allegedly terrorized his neighborhood last fall after escaping from Kelley’s home. The dog attacked three neighborhood pets, killing one and injuring two others.
Ann Schonert, a member of the vicious dog committee, said she hadn’t yet turned in her recommendation, nor had she heard from Gipson.
She questioned the value of having the committee convene if decisions would be made without the group’s recommendation.
Vicious dog committee member Steve Short couldn’t attend last week’s meeting but expected to receive a transcript so he could weigh in.
“I didn’t get anything subsequent to the meeting,” Short said. “It appears I wasn’t involved in the decision.”
A third committee member, Virgil Hill, recused himself from the Barty hearing because of a conflict of interest with one of the witnesses.
Both Schonert and Short said they would have recommended Barty be euthanized.
Gipson said he didn’t receive any feedback from Schonert or Short after the meeting.
“I had talked in-depth with Ann (before the hearing) and her feeling was that the dog probably needed to be euthanized,” Gipson said. “We have yet to get any comment from Steve Short. We decided to go ahead with euthanization. It was fairly evident which way I was going to rule.”
Clay Goddard, assistant health department director, said the department opted to waive $600 in kennel fees if Kelley agreed to sign the dog over for destruction.
He met with Kelley on Wednesday and advised her that if she wanted to block the euthanasia order in court, she would have to put down a six-month deposit to cover Barty’s kennel fees — about $1,600.
“I live on Social Security and can’t afford to pay those costs, so I signed Barty over to them,” she said, weeping.
Kelley said she appreciated the animal shelter staff who drove out and picked her up so she could have a last meal with Barty.
“I don’t have a car, so it was very nice of them to do that,” she said.
However, she was concerned about health issues Barty faced while in confinement.
She said Barty lost a lot of weight and his tail had been bleeding for days from contact with the pen’s chain-link wire.
Goddard acknowledged the problems. He said Barty’s diet had been changed to slow his weight loss, and his tail was being treated.
“However, it’s a challenging environment for any dog to remain confined out there for a long time,” he said.
The health department plans to deliver Barty’s body to Kelley.
She will bury him in her backyard, next to where Barty’s mother is buried.
Kelley lives just outside Springfield city limits, in Greene County.
Shelia Alvarado, whose Chihuahua was killed by Barty, said she felt “a bit more secure” now that Barty is dead.
“I would like to think Barty would have been a completely different dog in a different home,” Alvarado said.
“I am relieved. I know that dog will never hurt anybody else’s dogs and there’s no chance for it to hurt any children in the neighborhood.”
After killing Alvarado’s Chihuahua, Barty attacked the Alvarados’ Doberman, Yako.
Alvarado said the dog has recovered from its wounds but at a cost of $700 in veterinary bills.
Kelley still faces criminal animal abuse charges involving Barty. She’ll be in court on Jan. 14.
Alvarado said the Greene County prosecuting attorney will likely seek restitution from Kelley for the doberman’s veterinary bills.
To my understanding Mr. Gibson made it to where Ms. Kelley had two options. Either come up with $1600 in kennel costs or let them kill her dog. Who does Mr. Gibson think he is? Why have the committee if he isn’t going to wait for the decision to be made. Yes, I understand that Barty was a Pit Bull, but that is no excuse. I own a Siberian Husky/German Shepard mix. Trust me, my 70lb. dog is more dangerous if he decided to take me out. Huskies are closer to wolves then a Pit Bull. Yes, I know Pit Bull’s jaw lock. In my opinion, people’s opinion are jaded when it comes to the Pit Bull. Plain & simple. No, I would not have one simply because of the locking jaw, but I don’t condemn them on the spot. I know several Pit Bulls that are the sweetest dogs in the world & wouldn’t hurt a fly. Is that the case with Barty? I don’t know. Is this case wrong? Yes, in my opinion.
All Mr. Gipson did was make it look like he was afraid that the Greene County Vicious and
Nuisance Dog Committee would come back with a decision that Mr. Gipson would not like. Well, Mr. Gipson I have a little bit of new for you. YOU ARE NOT GOD! You do not have the right to choose what lives & dies. I am so thankful that I do not live in Greene County if you are there. I believe that the county needs to look are you again. I don’t think you are the person for this job. You are a heartless man. Have you considered that maybe the other dogs started the fight?
Second of all, why was a Chihuahua outside? They are not an outside dog, people! I own one. They are a purely an inside dog. Geesh. Chihuahuas think they are German Shepards without realizing they don’t have the size to back it up. Mine tried to take my 70lb husky on when they first met. Hmm…maybe that is what happened. But did anyone stop to think about that? NO, they automatically said. Barty is a Pit Bull so he started the fight & it is his fault so it is Ms. Kelley’s fault. It is a dog’s nature to play fight or fight when they are together. Anyone with more then one dog can attest to that. It is a crying shame that a innocent creature has to be put to sleep just because we can not handle it like grown ups.
As I read, Ms. Kelley, offered to keep Barty inside for the rest of his life if she was allowed to keep him. But instead, Mr. Gipson informs her (a woman that lives on Social Security only) that she will have to either pay a six month deposit on the kennel cost, about $1600, in order to block the destroy order or sign poor Barty over to be destroyed. What was she supposed to do?
At least the animal shelter staff was nice enough to drive her out to share a last meal with Barty so he knew that he was loved & that it wasn’t her idea or what she wanted. This was wrong & it makes me sick. I honestly bawled when I read this & while I typed this. Shame on you Health Department Director Kevin Gipson. I hope you never lose something that is precious to you. I take that back, I hope you do. Then maybe you will grow a heart, but I somehow doubt it.
Mirrored from Amarantine.