Bluefield pit bull owner's appeal denied - WVVA TV Bluefield Beckley WV News, Weather and Sports

Bluefield pit bull owner's appeal denied

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Estella Robinson Estella Robinson

BLUEFIELD (WVVA) - An appeal made by the owner of a pit bull that was ordered destroyed after it bit an animal control officer has been denied, court documents show.

Circuit Court Judge William Sadler issued the ruling on July 31, a week after he heard the appeal of the dog's owner, Estella Robinson.

View the court documents

Robinson's appeal had challenged the authority of the Municipal Court to enforce a city ordinance that "prohibits a person from keeping or harboring a vicious animal and allows a municipal judge to order the destruction of any animal determined to be vicious or dangerous."

Sadler ruled that the Municipal Court does have the power to enforce the ordinance and kill the animal.

On March 6, Randall Thompson, the City of Bluefield's Animal Control Officer, was bit by Robinson's pit bull while responding to a complaint at her residence.

In April, Robinson pleaded guilty in Municipal Court to owning a dangerous animal. Based upon the plea, the dog was ordered to be put down.

The order was stayed for 30 days to allow Robinson to find a suitable home for the animal outside of Bluefield on the condition that it could be determined that the dog could be rehabilitated.

In May, Robinson informed the Municipal Court that she had found a home outside of Bluefield for the dog, but did not have an expert's opinion that the dog could be rehabilitated to the point that it would not be a threat. The court again ordered the dog destroyed.

Robinson then filed an appeal with Mercer County Circuit Court, challenging the Municipal Court's authority.

That appeal was heard on July 24.

The court document emphasizes that the appeal was not whether or not the pit bull should be killed, but whether the Municipal Court has the authority to do so.

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