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Phineas the Dog: Court date set in Salem, Missouri over whether to euthanize

May 16, 2013|By: Staff

SALEM, Mo. -- A dog at the center of outrage on social media in the Ozarks has a date in court.

A judge has scheduled a May 23 court date to hear the case of a dog named Phineas. 

The dog has been in city custody for nearly a year after authorities say it bit a girl in June last year.  Salem Mayor Gary Brown says that was the second time that child had been bitten.  Her younger sister had been bitten once, according to the police report Brown said.  The girls live next door to the owners of the dog.  Authorities also say the dog did not have rabies shots up to date.  The city deemed the dog vicious and ordered it to be euthanized in July of 2012.  The owners of Phineas appealed that decision in court. 

Police held Phineas at the pound until the dog was stolen.  After a hearing in March the dog was moved to the city's fire station, "so he couldn't be stolen again," said Brown.  It has since been moved to a new location.

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The family that owns Phineas the dog has received support throughout the world.  Supporters have flooded in-boxes of both city leaders and news organizations claiming the dog is being abused. City leaders argue that's far from the truth.  Salem Fire Chief Brad Nash says he has been threatened in voice mails several times.  An animal care inspector reported the dog had food, shelter and veterinary care and was in good condition.

(Picture courtesy "Save Phineas" Facebook page)

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