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Dog Court: Two Springer Spaniels - dangerous or not?

READ MORE: Dog Court: Two Springer Spaniels - dangerous or not?
Malichi and Benjamin are both 6 year old English Springer Spaniels. They have been deemed potentially dangerous. Ruth Ellen Weldon owns both dogs and is appealing the dangerous dog label. That is how she ended up in dog court Wednesday evening. "I saw Mr. McDaniel come around the corner and say, ‘Dog patrol, dog patrol,’ and he was immediately on the phone calling the police and animal control," said Weldon. The dogs have apparently bitten before, but paperwork was never filed. Those bites, whether they took place or not, could not be used in this hearing. Keith McDaniel was not bitten, but he said he was terrorized. "Both dogs charged at me in a menacing manner and it was only due to the fact that I'm a large guy on a tall bike that I was able to successfully fend them off with no bites resulting," he said. Joyce Bradley presides over the volunteer, three person panel. She added, "It's a scary thing, being on a bicycle, it is, there's no denying it. They like to chase bicycles." John Boozer, one of the dog court panelists added, "He was able to handle the situation a lot better than a child could have done, but again, I think the owners are aware now that a serious situation could have occurred." The verdict was a unanimous not guilty. “We feel that it's an isolated incident and the owner has taken responsibility to keep the dogs up and has agreed to training," said Bradley. New Hanover County Animal Control Services frequently holds no cost rabies clinics. The next free clinic is scheduled for Saturday, July 18th from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. at the New Hanover County Health Department on 17th Street.

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Looks more like a springer pitbull mix. One thing I can tell you is that is not a purebreed springer. Mix a pitbull with anything and you have the potential for a dangerous dog. This misrepresentation of the breed by the media is irresponsable. A pure bred springer would never attack a person unprovoked unless it had springer rage syndrome (very rare), rabies, or was really really abused. None of those seem the case here.

Malichi and Benjamin not potentially dangerous?

Unlike real court wherein there is a discovery phase and opportunity to identify additional facts – in this case sworn statements from the two prior biting attacks on children - “Animal Court” does not allow unreported bites to be considered at the Dangerous/Potentially Dangerous Appellate Board. The prior biting attacks were not reported by the families as they accepted the Weldon’s at their word that additional running at large biting attacks would not occur again. While I have the highest respect for NHC Animal control and the super job they do, I do feel that disallowing sworn statements attesting to prior biting incidents is a serious flaw in an otherwise superb process. I invite the public, WWAY, and Appellate Board members to visit Animal Control and request the public record on subject proceeding which now contains the disallowed sworn statements from the families of the prior two biting incidents. Read them and then decide for yourself if the current incident was “An Isolated Incident”.


Check out the public "record" and then what?

dog court

I feel sorry for Mr. Kirby. The media tries to make the victim look like it is their fault they were attacked on public property... wait till the panel is sued for deeming a dog not dangerous, and he goes and mauls a child. I would not want to make those decisions and have regret later.Wise up panel.