RENO, NV - A beloved family dog is slated to be euthanized after animal control says it was let out several times—against a court order. Dude the dog has been in custody at animal control since the end of January. His owner says she's complied with most of the court order, but she says Dude is being targeted not only by county officials but by some Lemmon Valley residents who just don't like pit bulls
It started in 2009 when a Lemmon Valley Resident claimed Dude the dog had bitten her.
But the dog's owner Sally Christensen says there was no evidence of a bite.
Sally Christensen says she naively went to court with no representation.
“The judge was a bit upset with that and decided to dismiss the case and go with the animal control recommendation to deem my dog dangerous. The dog has to be on a leash, a two foot leash, and a muzzle at all times even in his own yard,” says Christensen.
When not on a leash and in Sally's company, she says she built this special enclosed area for Dude.
But just four months ago Dude got out, Sally says a worker at her home accidentally let Dude out.
”Animal control was called because they said a road worker who called them and said the dog bit him. However, the report indicates there was no valid bite,” says Christensen.
The court order back in 2011 waived fines and fees along with jail time to Sally provided there were no more dangerous dog violation for two years.
Eleven days shy of that two years, Dude who Sally describes as safe, and loving is now in animal control and may be euthanized.
Prosecutor John Helzer says while Christensen is critical of animal control, he notes Dude was not wandering the neighborhood once,but four times over the course of nearly two years.
“There is the incident that is in January of this year. Prior to that and subsequent to the order stating you have to control this dog, this dog was taken into custody by animal control four times. On those occasions nobody is rushing to try and seek euthansia, but gave the dog back to the owner,” says Helzer
Helzer adds, that Christensen by the end of January had requested to have Dude put down.
But she revoked that request within 24 hours.
“Now we are back to where we will take our evidence and go into court and see what he deems it supports and what action should be taken,” says Helzer.
Christensen denies dog was out running in the neighborhood against the court order except for the January incident.
She says there is no evidence Dude bit anyone prior to January.
The dog has his own Facebook and Twitter account to help raise money for his defense.
A court date has been set for April 22 .