By The Chronicle
An appeal hearing for a dog set to be euthanized after being labeled as dangerous by Lewis County has been rescheduled until September.
Supporters of Hank, a pit bull-mix, and his owners are hoping a Grays Harbor Superior Court judge will reverse the decision of a Lewis County District Court judge who ruled the animal should be euthanized according to county law.
The hearing was originally supposed to take place in Grays Harbor Superior Court in Montesano on Thursday.
Hank’s owner and her supporters are calling for the return of the animal.
Grays Harbor Superior Court Judge David Edwards will oversee the hearing, which will now take place at 10 a.m. on Friday, Sept. 8.
In a separate court matter, a temporary restraining order requesting the immediate release of the dog back to its owner Jann Propp-Estimo has been denied.
Adam Karp, the attorney for Propp-Estimo, filed the order, which was removed to the United State District Court in Tacoma. It asked the court to declassify the dog as dangerous and for a provision that the animal can only be euthanized by court order.
“A plaintiff seeking preliminary relief must establish that she is likely to succeed on the merits, that she is likely to suffer irreparable harm in the absence of preliminary relief, that the balance of equities tip in her favor and that an injunction is in the public interest,” stated the order denying the temporary restraining order.
It goes on to say that Propp-Estimo failed to prove that was the case.
Propp-Estimo adopted the dog, originally named Tank, from the Lewis County Animal Shelter earlier this year. In April 2016, the dog had been declared dangerous after he was alleged to have killed livestock with his mother, another pit bull mix.
While in possession of the county, staff expressed their belief that the dog was not in fact dangerous, so his name was changed to Hank and he was adopted out without informing Propp-Estimo of his background or classification.
The dog has been held at the Lewis County Animal Shelter since he was seized by the county in May after officials discovered he was adopted out, something that was against county policy.
On June 19, a hearing was held in Lewis County District Court in an attempt to reverse the dangerous dog ruling and to seek the release of the dog back to his owner. During that hearing, Lewis County District Court Judge R.W. Buzzard upheld the dangerous designation, stating new evidence did not clearly absolve Hank from wrongdoing, and ordered him to be euthanized.
A court issued stay protected the dog from euthanasia until Aug. 31. Information on if or how long the stay was extended was not immediately available.
Earlier this month, Steve Hoecker delivered more than 148,000 signatures gathered through an online petition asking Lewis County to save the dog. About a dozen supporters gathered for a rally in front of the Lewis County Courthouse after the signatures were handed over.