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
EYEWITNESS NEWS ONLINE WEBCAST VIDEO

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.



MORE NEWS FROM EYEWITNESS NEWS
Police Say Two Arrested After Home Invasion
News
Jul. 29, 2014 4:18 PM EDT
Gallia County, Ohio, deputies said two men were arrested ...
Full News Story

Three Girls To Graduate From Listening, Language, Learning Program
News
Jul. 29, 2014 4:03 PM EDT
After several years of learning to improve their speaking ...
Full News Story

Fruit Recall Affects Costco, Trader Joe's and Walmart Stores
News
Jul. 29, 2014 2:29 PM EDT
If you've picked up fruit at Costco, Trader Joe's or ...
Full News Story


News State Police Arrest 10 In Warrant Roundup In Boone County
Jul. 29, 2014 1:12 PM EDT
News West Virginia American Water To Conduct Public Tour
Jul. 29, 2014 12:51 PM EDT
News Charleston Distance Run Key Registration Deadlines Near
Jul. 29, 2014 12:15 PM EDT
News Charleston Police Respond To Gun Report, Temporarily Take AK-47 For Safekeeping
Jul. 29, 2014 12:45 PM EDT
News Representatives From WV, PA and Ohio To Participate In Pittsburgh Coal Rally
Jul. 29, 2014 12:42 PM EDT
News Volunteer West Virginia To Host 2014 Faces Of Leadership Conference
Jul. 29, 2014 12:28 PM EDT
News Nissan Expands Recall Prompted By Faulty Airbag
Jul. 29, 2014 10:41 AM EDT
News Proposal Calls For Backup Drinking Water Source At Coonskin Park
Jul. 29, 2014 10:21 AM EDT
News Police Say Man Arrested After Allegedly Stabbing Roommate In St. Albans
Jul. 29, 2014 10:00 AM EDT
News Northbound Lanes Of East River Mountain Tunnel On I-77 To Close For Damage Repair
Jul. 29, 2014 10:48 AM EDT
News Freedom Industries Pays $11,000 Fine In Chemical Spill
Jul. 29, 2014 10:56 AM EDT
News Police Arrest Third Person In South Charleston Theft Cases
Jul. 29, 2014 1:21 PM EDT
News Capito To Speak At EPA Hearing
Jul. 29, 2014 8:58 AM EDT
News Huntington Fire Ruled Accidental
Jul. 29, 2014 9:28 AM EDT
News One Lane Of I-64 Eastbound Traffic Reopened After Vehicle Accident
Jul. 29, 2014 11:04 AM EDT
News Police Say Shots Fired In Charleston's East End
Jul. 29, 2014 9:25 AM EDT
News WV Man Sentenced To Five Years In Drug Gang Probe
Jul. 29, 2014 9:20 AM EDT
News WV Union PAC Gets $250,000 Check
Jul. 29, 2014 9:19 AM EDT
News Weekend Tornado Confirmed In WV
Jul. 29, 2014 9:18 AM EDT
News Huntington Police Investigating Shooting
Jul. 29, 2014 12:49 PM EDT
News Community Supports Huntington Fire Victims
Jul. 29, 2014 9:14 AM EDT
News Sparking Brakes Triggered Truck Tunnel Fire
Jul. 28, 2014 11:30 PM EDT
News Virginia Court Ruling On Gay Marriage Could Have WV Implications
Jul. 28, 2014 10:32 PM EDT
News Dem Vows To Fight For Coal, GOP Calls Claims "Hypocritical"
Jul. 28, 2014 6:36 PM EDT
News Gunshots Scare Families In Small Hurricane Neighborhood
Jul. 28, 2014 5:56 PM EDT
News Drums Across Tri-State This Evening At Laidley Field
Jul. 28, 2014 6:05 PM EDT
News Man Accused Of Stabbing Girlfriend After She Threw His Meth Into Woods
Jul. 28, 2014 4:54 PM EDT
News Aldi To Open Store At Teays Valley Shopping Center
Jul. 28, 2014 4:54 PM EDT
News Man Accused In Robbery Has Bond Terms Modified
Jul. 28, 2014 4:22 PM EDT
News Ohio Woman Sentenced In WV Embezzlement
Jul. 28, 2014 4:09 PM EDT


Advertise on WCHS-TV Online

West Virginia News
Wilmington man pleads guilty in fatal shooting

A man has pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in the shooting death of another man during a robbery.
Full Story

Kentucky News
Indiana sheriff charged in prostitution case

A southern Indiana sheriff has been arrested in a prostitution investigation just weeks after a suburban Indianapolis sheriff resigned over his own relationship with a prostitute.
Full Story

Ohio News
Prosecutor to discuss allegations against pitcher

A Detroit-area prosecutor plans to talk to reporters about an investigation involving Toledo Mud Hens pitcher Evan Reed and allegations of sexual assault.
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.