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Pitbull still in quarantine, owner charged
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The dog who bit a lady’s finger off in March is still being quarantined at Warren County Animal Control.
Animal Control director Kim Pettrey and the dog’s owner, William Lee Delong, appeared before Judge Bill Locke in General Sessions Court on May 23 for the purpose of determining whether the dog should be designated a “potentially dangerous” or “dangerous” dog. Delong has been charged with control or possession of a vicious animal.
At the court hearing, it was revealed Delong had been arrested the day before, May 22, for possession of drug paraphernalia and reckless endangerment. Delong asked for a continuance and time to retain a lawyer. He will return to court July 9 when he will face all charges brought against him.
The dog attack happened in the Southside area off Viola Road.
Pettrey informed members of the county’s Health and Welfare Committee she does not believe the dog, a pit bull, is aggressive against humans but she does believe it is dog aggressive.
“That is what happened in this case,” said Pettrey. “He was aggressive with another dog and the lady tried to intervene. If you look at our guidelines for a dangerous animal and a potentially dangerous animal, I just don’t know. I’m 99.9 percent sure the dog will not be able to pass the test. The class lasts six to eight weeks depending on the dog. The owner of the dog may be facing charges and jail time because he was arrested for something else while all this was going on.”
Pettrey was referring to an American Kennel Club class which the dog and its owner must attend and pass as one of the requirements before the owner can take possession of the dog, if the dog is deemed vicious by the court.
The dog must be ready to leave his quarantined cage because, according to Pettrey, he learned how to climb out of it.
“We would come in after being gone for the night and he would be walking around inside. He had climbed out of his kennel,” said Pettrey. “The Humane Society of the United States donated about $600 worth of chain link fencing panels for us to help with our outdoor dog exercise area. We took some of those panels and placed them on top of his kennel. Now he cannot get out.”
County Executive John Pelham said, “I hate that we are having to keep him in quarantine so long. I hate it for the lady who lost her finger but at least by keeping him in quarantine, he is not out where he could potentially harm someone else.”
If the owner does not want to comply with the long list of restrictions, which can be costly, the dog must be surrendered to Warren County Animal Control and will be euthanized. For a complete list of restrictions, visit www.warrencountytn.gov.
“We could not adopt the dog out to someone else and take the chance it does something like this again. We would have to euthanize the dog,” said Pettrey.