A Georgia judge has appointed a lawyer to defend the pit bull who mauled a 5-year-old boy. The dog is in danger of being euthanized for the attack.
Court officials state that the dog’s owner handed over their pet, named Kno, to Effingham County last summer after Kno allegedly attacked and severely injured a neighborhood boy. The boy, though recovering, will still require surgery to repair the damage done by the animal. Although he is back in school, the child’s face is partially paralyzed and there is visible facial scarring.
When the dog was accused of the attack and threatened with euthanization, Superior Court Judge William Woodrum, Jr., appointed lawyer Claude Kicklighter to represent the animal in court. Kicklighter, who is still learning the details of the case, commented, “All I can tell you is that the judge appointed me. I really don’t know what the issues are.” This will be a pro bono case for Kicklighter.
The dog attacked Wesley Frye last July when the little boy was playing with another child inside a neighbor’s home. Julie Long, one of the dog’s owners, stopped the attack by luring the animal outside. The dog was immediately taken into the custody of the county, and classified as a dangerous animal by the humane enforcement deputy and an Effigham County magistrate, SavannahNow reports.
The dog’s owner, Larry A. Long, Jr., was informed via a letter from the sheriff’s office of his “right to request a hearing to contest the dangerous dog classification. He was not, however, informed of the plan to euthanize Kno.
Frye underwent two surgeries shortly after the attack, and is still in recovery. “[Wesley] is improving and is better,” stated Effingham County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson David Ehsanipoor. “He still has scarring and the right side of his face is paralyzed. He may be having some more surgery in the next six to eight weeks, but he is back at school and recovering.”
Romie Currier, director of Effigham County’s animal control, notes, “There has to be a lesson for dog owners and for people not to allow their children to go to other people’s houses with dogs.”
Kno is being held in isolation from other animals at the county animal shelter. An October 25 hearing will determine his fate.
Readers: Do you think that Kno has the right to a lawyer, or should he immediately be put down for attacking a small child?