WCHS Eyewitness News Home Charleston Eyewitness Newsroom Charleston Storm Team Weather Sports News TV Program Schedule Community Mobile: Smartphone,Tablet and SMS text Get Connected SMS Text Facebook Twitter See-It,Shoot-It RSS News Feed Email List Tumblr

Rescue Group Working To Save Dog Ordered Put Down

Reported by: Send eMail Darrah Wilcox
Reported: Jul. 2, 2014 5:42 PM EDT
Updated: Jul. 2, 2014 11:57 PM EDT

Saving Tinkerbell
Eyewitness News Photo

Huntington , Cabell County , West Virginia

Capri Billings is on a mission to rescue Tinkerbell the dog-- again.

"If I thought in any way that this dog was vicious, I wouldn't want her in the community," Billings said. "I wouldn't have offered to bring her back into my home. Our ultimate goal is to save her life."

Billings runs rescue group River Cities Bully Buddies, and Tinkerbell spent 16 months with her family until she found her forever home in Wayne County.

In both homes, Billings said the dog was around children with no incidents of biting or aggression. She said the dog was often at events with her organization, and was always well-received.

"She was always a crowd favorite, because she had such a goofy, silly demeanor. She was always great with the toddlers," she said.

But this spring, Humane officers took Tinkerbell after the dog bit an 8-year-old neighbor. The boy got 14 stitches in his lips.

"It was an unfortunate accident. The kids were throwing the ball around, and I guess Tinkerbell got excited, because she loves toys, and her and the little boy went for the ball at the same time," Billings said.

She said Tinkerbell retreated immediately.

The Wayne County Prosector's Office pursued a misdemeanor case against Tinkerbell's owners, and they were found not guilty of knowingly harboring a vicious animal.

But the legal case wasn't over. At a subsequent hearing two weeks later, a Wayne County judge ordered the dog be put down, and the dog was seized again.

"I think it was situational," Jim Cumm, director of the Cabell-Wayne Animal Shelter, said. "I don't think the animal is vicious. I've seen animals that are vicious, and it has a different demeanor. But yet still, how does a family get peace having an animal in their community that bit their child?"

The little boy is doing okay, and Cumm said the family told him while they don't want Tinkerbell to be euthanized, they also don't want her in their community.

"I think for the community to have rest, the dog needs to be taken out of the community, but if you take it out of that community, you put it in someone else's, and a dog having a tendency to bite, probably the best scenario is to put the animal down," he said.

Billings said she doesn't think it's fair and thinks Tinkerbell is being targeted because she looks like a pit bull.

"It almost became like a witch hunt, that we need to eliminate certain dogs from the community because they are said to be vicious," she said.

She said her group works tirelessly to break down stereotypes on the breed.

"They're the underdog, they're the misunderstood dog, and we also strive to increase public awareness that every dog is unique, every dog needs to be judged on their own actions, and you their own personalities - not what they look like or what they may or may not be," she said.

Cumm said he believes, any dog, if put in a certain situation, can be dangerous, but larger dogs often cause more harm because of their size.

"I think every animal, regardless of breed, can be put in a bite situation and things would happen the same way," he said.

Billings said they have 30 days from Monday's hearing to appeal the decision in a higher court. She said they believe there is precedent in the State Supreme Court of Appeals to have the decision reversed. They've set up a Facebook page called "Saving Tinkerbell," if you'd like to follow their story.

Man Accused Of Stabbing Two People At Transit Mall
Aug. 23, 2014 12:16 PM EDT
A man is behind bars accused of stabbing a man and ...
Full News Story

    B R E A K I N G  N E W S
Fire Destroys The Cold Spot
Aug. 23, 2014 2:06 PM EDT
Firefighters and police officers are trying to determine ...
Full News Story

Amma Residents Shocked By Bizarre Accident On I-79
Aug. 22, 2014 11:26 PM EDT
It’s not everyday people in the small town of Amma ...
Full News Story and Video

News WVAH To Air Sports Specials Sunday
Aug. 22, 2014 9:30 PM EDT
News Pre-Season Edition Of First In Ten To Air Saturday
Aug. 22, 2014 9:05 PM EDT
News Severe Weather Causes Major Traffic Delays In Huntington
Aug. 22, 2014 8:11 PM EDT
News PSC Board Says Planning Info Needed In WV Spill Probe
Aug. 22, 2014 8:35 PM EDT
News Manhunt Heats Up For Jackson County Bank Robber
Aug. 22, 2014 6:12 PM EDT
News Man Sentenced To Life In Prison For St. Albans Murder
Aug. 22, 2014 6:43 PM EDT
News WV To Study Fish Life In River After Chemical Spill
Aug. 22, 2014 4:47 PM EDT
News Hearing Board Recommends WV Judge Suspension
Aug. 22, 2014 8:16 PM EDT
News 2.2 Million Bean Bag Chairs Recalled After Deaths
Aug. 22, 2014 8:01 PM EDT
News Huntington Father Charged With Child Neglect
Aug. 22, 2014 8:18 PM EDT
News Man Hit, Killed By Train In Southern WV
Aug. 22, 2014 6:47 PM EDT
News Flash Flood Watch Issued For Multiple Counties In WV, KY And OH
Aug. 22, 2014 3:08 PM EDT
News Two West Virginia Greats To Liven The Stage At Live On The Levee
Aug. 22, 2014 6:47 PM EDT
News Virginia Street Underpass In Charleston's West Side Closed Until Further Notice
Aug. 22, 2014 1:39 PM EDT
News About 2,000 Show For MU's Freshman Convocation
Aug. 22, 2014 1:03 PM EDT
News Deputies Say Meth Lab Found During Traffic Stop
Aug. 22, 2014 12:58 PM EDT
News Pair Facing Charges After Deputies Say Drugs Found Hidden Among Unusual Items
Aug. 22, 2014 12:51 PM EDT
News Deputies Say Man Charged Following Stabbing
Aug. 22, 2014 12:30 PM EDT
News Driver Arrested After "Improvised Explosive" Found In His Wrecked SUV
Aug. 22, 2014 12:45 PM EDT
News Woman Sues McDonald's, Claims Tea Was Tainted
Aug. 22, 2014 1:25 PM EDT
News Logan Soul Singer Honored With ABSSA Hall Of Fame Induction
Aug. 21, 2014 11:21 PM EDT
News Jackson County Schools Respond To Emergency
Aug. 21, 2014 10:42 PM EDT
News DEA Raises Prescription Drug Security
Aug. 21, 2014 11:12 PM EDT
News Man Fled from Police; Crusier Involved Accident
Aug. 21, 2014 10:52 PM EDT
News Return Of Marshall Students Brings In Business Boom
Aug. 21, 2014 8:07 PM EDT
News Captial City Turns Kelly Green For MU Pep Rally
Aug. 21, 2014 6:34 PM EDT
News WV Agency Gets $560K In Mine Safety Funding
Aug. 21, 2014 6:00 PM EDT
News Neighborhood Planning Kanawha City Meeting To Address Crime
Aug. 21, 2014 6:07 PM EDT
News Heroes And Handcuffs Baseball Game Set For Saturday
Aug. 21, 2014 8:27 PM EDT
News Search Still On For Suspect Accused Of Robbing Jackson County Bank
Aug. 21, 2014 6:12 PM EDT

Advertise on WCHS-TV Online

West Virginia News
State gets more than $500K for food, shelter

West Virginia is getting more than $526,000 in federal funds to help residents with emergencies that are not caused by disasters.
Full Story

Kentucky News
Group opposes tax incentives for Noah's Ark park

A national organization for the separation of church and state is urging Kentucky officials to deny state tax incentives for the Noah's Ark theme park in northern Kentucky.
Full Story

Ohio News
Gay bathhouses nationwide face uncertain future

Gay bathhouses that once remained in the shadows to stay in business are now seeking attention to keep their doors open.
Full Story

Fugitive Files Tuesdays at 6 PM on Eyewitness News

West Virginia Wildlife Wednesdays at 6 PM on Eyewitness News

ABC News web site

Send Mail Send email to news@wchstv.com for information or comments concerning WCHS-TV Eyewitness News.
Copyright ©2014, WCHS-TV8. Portions are Copyright 2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or distributed.

WCHS ABC 8 provides local news, weather forecasts, traffic updates, notices of events and items of interest in the community, sports and entertainment programming for Charleston and nearby towns and communities in the Tri-State area, including Huntington, Dunbar, Marmet, Montgomery, Nitro, South Charleston, St. Albans, Cedar Grove, Chesapeake, Clendenin, East Bank, Glasgow, Pratt, Cross Lanes, Elkview, Pinch, Sissonville, Big Chimney, Cabin Creek, Chelyan, Davis Creek, Institute, Jefferson, Loudendale, Mink Shoals, Pocatalico, Quick, Quincy, Rand, Buffalo, Eleanor, Hurricane, Nitro, Poca, Winfield, Culloden, Fraziers Bottom, Hometown, Red House, Scott Depot, Teays Valley, Danville, Madison, Hamlin, Logan, Chapmanville, Man, Delbarton, Kermit, Gilbert, Matewan, Williamson, Summersville, Richwood, Flatwoods, Gassaway, Sutton, Spencer, Ravenswood, Ripley, Mason, Point Pleasant, Ashland, Pikeville, Ironton, Portsmouth, Gallipolis, and Athens.