ELK GROVE, Calif. (KTXL) — A federal court temporarily delayed an Elk Grove dog’s euthanasia, which was ordered after it bit a police officer and a resident, the city said.
The city of Elk Grove Animal Services said the incident began on May 16 when officers responded to a neighborhood for a report of a German shepherd biting someone. The caller reportedly told police he was out for a walk when he was attacked.
According to animal services, the man stated he was on the sidewalk when the dog got out of a car that was parked on a driveway, about 10 feet away from him. The man reported the dog ran straight toward him and bit him on the back of his right leg.
“When the victim tried to move away, the dog bit the victim again on the other leg,” animal services said.
Because of the incident, Elk Grove was permitted by state law and municipal code to label the dog as dangerous. Although the owner of the dog appealed the designation with an administrative hearing, the city’s designation of the dog as dangerous was affirmed.
The city said the owner could have appealed the decision through the Sacramento County Superior Court but failed to do so. Due to the designation, the owner had to comply with several regulations: muzzling the dog, controlling it on a short (3’) leash when it is off the owner’s property, enrollment in an obedience class to address the animal’s behavior, and maintaining public liability insurance to cover any injury, death, loss or damage.
Compliance was supposed to be proven within 30 days of the decision, which was on May 25. The city said the owner failed to comply even though they were given an additional three weeks.
As a result, the city said they were permitted by law to take the dog away. According to the city, the day the dog was to be taken, it bit an officer who was standing in the street.
Video of that day and the incident was released, which can be watched here.
The city said the dog ran toward the officer after the owner took it out onto the sidewalk. The owner was cited for both incidents and a hearing was held, which they appealed. However, the hearing upheld the city’s citation, and it was decided the dog would be euthanized, the city said.
An attempt to have the euthanasia stayed was done through the Sacramento County Superior Court, but it was not successful. An appeal was then made, but that was also denied.
The city said the owner, through an attorney, has since filed a federal lawsuit against the city, which is still pending. According to the city, the federal judge said he “had reservations about the merits of the dog owner’s case.” The decision to have the euthanasia stayed was handed out, however.
The euthanasia was stayed until Sept. 28, and the city was given time to respond to the lawsuit.