Dixie gets a reprieve

archive_import

By SCOTT PESZNECKER

Dixie has dodged the death penalty.

Following an emotional public hearing in front of about 30 people, the Calaveras County Board of Supervisors on Monday voted 3-2 to pardon the Dalmatian mix for her aggressive behavior. Supervisors said Dixie can continue living with Board Chairwoman Merita Callaway.

Had the vote gone against Dixie, the one-time county animal shelter resident would likely have been destroyed.

The final vote left Callaway near tears. "The last time I remember getting this way as a supervisor was years ago at a budget hearing," she said after the meeting.

Dixie who attended Monday's meeting but slept near the chamber doors in September was taken to the county animal shelter by her Murphys owner.

Dixie never bit anyone, her previous owner said, but she lunged twice at a UPS delivery man and once at a family member.

Supervisors said Monday's ruling could spark a change in county policy. In past years, animals taken to the county animal shelter after being labeled as aggressive were destroyed unless recovered by their owners.

But according to state law, an aggressive dog that is deemed "treatable" cannot be euthanized.

Callaway took Dixie to University of California, Davis, last month, where animal behaviorists concluded that Dixie has "fear aggression" and is treatable, but not adoptable.

Callaway choked back tears during Monday's meeting.

"I think what's helped me is the larger goal, and having people like Kitty (Haspel) remind me that the goal is larger than just Dixie," she said.

After Dixie was brought to the shelter, Haspel a neighbor of the dog's original owner applied to adopt Dixie. The county denied her request.

Callaway, a friend of Haspel, then talked Animal Control Director Jearl Howard into releasing Dixie to her. Dixie has stayed with Callaway since then.

At Monday's meeting, Callaway showed video footage of two of Dixie's tests at Davis. In one test, behaviorists let Dixie frolic with a ball, then used a prosthetic hand to take away the ball.

11702657
The Union Democrat
This image is copyrighted.

Reach all of Sonora, Calaveras County, Tuolumne, Angels Camp, Twain Harte, & Jamestown with your items to sell.

Ads appear Online and in Print

View Classifieds Place an Ad

Connect with The Union Democrat

Union Democrat Newsstand

Sunday February 26, 2017

Read digital interactive editions of our publications

Read Today's Edition Take A Tour

More Publications by The Union Democrat

View All Publications
McClintock town hall draws large, divided crowd

02/22/2017

There was patriotic singing, chanting and sign waving inside the packed 569-seat ... more

Diverse views outside McClintock Town Hall

02/22/2017

They came with signs and flags and at least one mask, expressing ... more

County appoints working group on marijuana regulations

02/22/2017

What do two county supervisors, a former California Highway Patrol commander, a ... more

McClintock supporters, protesters call for peaceful event

02/20/2017

With people speculating about what could become the largest protest Sonora has ... more

Weather takes a swipe at Groveland business

02/23/2017

Recent road damage, rockfall, slides and Merced River flooding in January have ... more