Disabled war veteran James “JR” Lovell and his family continue their eleventh-hour fight to save his dogs from being euthanized. One of the two dogs, Dakota, has been deemed “vicious” by authorities, and she and her brother Blaze will be euthanized by close of business today.
Reminiscent of the recent case of the pit bull-type dog Lennox, Dakota and Blaze will meet their end despite sufficient evidence. In Belfast, Ireland, dog wardens deemed Lennox to be a public danger and seized him from his owners in April 2010. After two long years in the court system, Lennox was euthanized in July of this year.
Prior to this incident Dakota, a Labrador mix, was being trained to become a service dog.
Seven months ago, one of JR’s dogs escaped from his yard. The evidence gets fuzzy at this point because the only person who witnessed the incident was not able to testify during the hearing.
Yucca Valley animal control’s version of the story is that both Dakota and Blaze escaped from JR’s yard and knocked an elderly woman to the ground, where she was mauled and sustained several bites on her body.
The sole witness to the incident maintains that Blaze was the only dog that was involved, and nipped her only once.
The victim was taken home and paramedics were summoned, who suggested the woman contact her personal physician. The only medical treatment she received, as verified in court records, was a tetanus shot.
No report of the incident was ever taken by Yucca Valley’s Sheriff’s Department.
A hearing was conducted in February of this year, during which JR’s only witness was unable to testify due to a serious illness. The judge in the case refused to allow for alternative arrangements.
Both dogs are unaltered. During their seven-month incarceration, they were housed together and allowed to breed. Seven puppies were born just last night, three of which have already died while in custody of animal control.
Not only will Dakota and Blaze loose their lives this afternoon, but their remaining puppies will too.