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Pit bull spared by nuisance board in Berkeley Co.

March 09, 2007|by MATTHEW UMSTEAD

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - A pit bull that pinned a Berkeley County Sheriff's Department deputy in his police cruiser and chased another man up a tree and onto the roof of a mobile home last month has been spared by the county's Nuisance Appeal Board.

Face, a mature blue and white dog owned by Jettye Grove of 166 Walter Drive, was not found to be vicious by a unanimous vote of the board at a Feb. 22 hearing, according to a report by Nuisance Appeal Board chair Carolyn Bishop.

"Animal Control, after inspecting the (dog's) kennel ... found it highly unlikely that the dog could have escaped on his own," Bishop said in the report to the Berkeley County Commission, which accepted the panel's decision Thursday.

Bishop also noted that paintballs and BB pellets were found inside the dog's kennel and the board "strongly" suggested that locks be installed on the gates.

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"The Board fears for the safety of the dog and strongly recommended to the owner that she keep the dog inside her residence at night and when no one is at home during the day," Bishop said.

Commissioners were told Thursday that double fencing also would be installed around the kennel.

Robert Orr, the man pinned on the trailer, "gave three distinct conflicting versions of the incident!" Bishop noted in the report.

At the hearing, Bishop said sheriff's deputies T.E. Boyles and M.T. Hudson recounted how they responded to the dog's home on Feb. 9 for a report of a man on the roof of a house trailer, possibly ready to jump.

After arriving at the home, Boyles said Orr told him about the loose dog, which soon after entered the cruiser through an open front passenger side door when Hudson attempted to avoid the irritated animal.

Boyles already had retreated inside the cruiser and was able to keep from getting bit by using his Taser dart gun, which was dented by the dog's teeth.

"He bit down and I was fighting to get away," Boyles recounted several hours after he and a few other deputies managed to stun the attacking canine with electrically-charged darts and "hogtie" the dog outside the home near Inwood, W.Va.

A Berkeley County Schools bus driver passing by the house had told emergency officials the man was waving his arms and thought a suicide attempt was in the making and called for help about 9:15 a.m.

But as it turned out, Orr was pinned on the roof of the singlewide trailer two hours earlier after initially climbing a tree to get there and away from the dog, Boyles had said.

Orr was bitten by the dog, but the canine's teeth did not protrude the heavy clothing he was wearing, and he did not need treatment, police had said.

While in custody of Animal Control, officers said the dog had been "extremely friendly and gentle," Bishop reported to the commission. Boyles also told the board that he thought the dog simply was protecting his property, Bishop said.

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