UPDATE: The court date, previously set for April 22,2013, has been continued to July 17th, 2013.
RENO, Nev. (Mynews4.com & KRNV)- A local pit-bull deemed "dangerous" by a Reno Justice Court Judge in 2011 will be heading to trial. The court date was originally set for April 22,2013 but was continued to July 17, 2013. The judge could decide the dog should be euthanized based on recent allegations. However, some question whether or not the dog has ever bitten anyone. Now the case is drawing a lot of attention.
"I know he's not dangerous," said Sally Christensen. Christensen is pleading with Washoe County Animal Services to release her dog, Dude. Dude is an eight year old pit bull and has been quarantined since late January. Dude could be put down depending on an upcoming hearing in Reno Justice Court. Dude was sentenced to death in 2011 when a judge rulled he was a "dangerous" dog. But at that time the judge suspended the sentence for two years, provided Christensen comply with the rules of having a dangerous dog. "He has to have a dangerous dog cage that has sides a top cement walls. He can't be out without a muzzle or a leash in his own yard. I am in compliance," said Christensen.
The big question on the Facebook page in support of Dude, is whether or not Dude has actually bitten anyone. There are two bite reports in Dude's history that date back to 2009. In the 2009 incident, a bite was not verified by Animal Control. In January 2013 a man reported he had been bitten. In that incident a responding Animal Control Officer wrote that there was "not a valid bite" and "broken skin." The officer also wrote there was "bruising to the left calf." According to Nevada law, to be considered a legal bite there must be puncture wounds.
In Dude's case, there is no report showing the dog has "legally" bitten anyone. According to Assistant District Attorney John Helzer says there is understandable confusion. "Well understandably you have people that say there wasn't a legal bite but you have other people saying, I felt bit. It hurt. I was scared. So, I think that's the confusion," said Helzer.
At the upcoming hearing Helzer says the judge will determine if any conditions by Dude's owner, not necessarily Dude, were violated and if the death sentence should be carried out. It's a potential fate that makes Christensen tear up. "I'm very emotional, very emotional. It's like losing your child," she said.