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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