This is Hank's Story. On January 17, 2017, I was adopted from the Lewis County Animal Shelter in Centralia, Washington.
I was adopted to be a pal for Bruce Almighty. I liked Bruce, but Bruce didn't really like me. He sulked a lot, but mostly he ignored me.
The nice couple who adopted me didn't want Bruce to be sad, but they knew they would never take me back to the animal shelter. Jason, the son, and my pal Buddy, the grandson, were the perfect answer, and they jumped at the chance to have me for their very first pet.
I was so happy. I went everywhere with Jason and Buddy. Buddy fed me, played with me, taught me dog stuff, and at night we slept side by side.
We still went to see Bruce almost every night for dinner. After our walk in the evening, I would climb into a lap while they watched TV, lick their face, and everyone would laugh.
On May 9, 2017, detectives from the Sheriff's Department came seized me without an explanation. My family begged the detectives not to take me, but they said they had to take me. It was the law.
My new family didn't know when they adopted me and no one told them that on April 1, 2016, my mom and I had gotten out of the house through a slider that hadn't been properly closed.
I was a very young dog. At first, I was playing with one of the goats, but then my mom ran up and chased the goat. They ran, so I ran. My mom wasn't playing, and before I knew, the goat was dead. My mom had also attacked another goat. In the end, two goats were dead and a little pony was hurt.
Ever since I was six weeks old, I lived in California on 3 acres with goats and chickens. Goats weren't a meal; goats were family -- that's what I knew. Thing is, I couldn't prove that I didn't kill the goats or hurt the pony.
In Lewis County dogs that kill livestock are put to death. My mom managed to escape justice by going to another state, but I got left behind. I ended up getting blamed for something I didn't do.
I was locked up and labeled a dangerous dog and that label carried a stiff sentence -- death.
My first hearing was June 19 before Judge Buzzard in Lewis County District Court in Chehalis, Washington.
Even though Judge Buzzard could have set me free with the new county ordinance, he didn't. He also ignored all the new evidence presented, which included a video, because he said he didn't believe us. He ordered me put to death in 48 hours.
My attorney had to appeal! My second hearing was before Judge Edwards of Grays Harbor County Superior Court on September 8. He said it wasn't his job to second guess a lower court. I just couldn't catch a break.
Adam Karp filed new pleadings and on October 18 at 11 a.m. with my whole family (Jann, Gary, Jason, and Buddy) in court, the Honorable Judge John C. Skinder ruled that equity, at least for my hearing, counted.
He ordered me immediately released and my death sentence rescinded. I could go home, but that wasn't the end. The preliminary injunction was only temporary.
On December 8 Lewis County requested mediation in order to resolve my case. A contingent agreement was reached, and on December 18, Buzzard's and Edwards' rulings were vacated, and I became a free dog!