Dog owner fined, pet spared

CNJ staff photo: Sharna Johnson Pet owner Dale Mattingly said he is relieved a judgment for a vicious dog citation he received orders him to pay a fine and fix his fence instead of executing his dog, Kujo.

By Sharna Johnson: CNJ staff writer

All things considered, Dale Mattingly believes a $100 fine and an order to repair his fence is far better than the possibility of his dog being euthanized and jail time.

Mattingly received the decision from Municipal Court during a hearing Thursday afternoon.

“I guess a hundred bucks for him being out running around isn’t all that bad. It could have been a lot worse,” he said.

Mattingly said he still believes the incident was simply a fight between two animals and he doesn’t understand why he was the only one cited when his dog was injured too.

Mattingly received a vicious dog citation April 1, when his dog Kujo got out of the yard and into a fight with a neighbor’s dog.

He expressed concern last week because he denied a court appointed attorney. Mattingly said he was worried he would not be able to represent his dog’s legal interests when the animal’s destruction was a possibility.

The neighbor told police Kujo charged at his dog, who was off leash, as they were taking trash to a dumpster in an alley, attacked and caused puncture wounds and other injuries.

Mattingly said he is skeptical of the story but since he didn’t see what happened, will never be certain what happened between the dogs.

Thursday afternoon, Mattingly said he was relieved by the judge’s decision not to pursue some of the stiffer penalties possible.

But he still felt he was at a disadvantage in the courtroom, where the citing police officer represented the interests of the city and he faced the neighbor, officer and judge.