Animal Law

Court-appointed lawyer argues against death sentence for pit bull who attacked 5-year-old boy

An unusual court-appointed lawyer is representing the interest of a Georgia dog on a pro bono basis as a state-court judge decides whether the pit bull should be euthanized after an attack last year on a 5-year-old boy.

At a Tuesday hearing, attorney Mickey Kicklighter advocated for Kno to be sent to a New York shelter that has agreed to take him for the remainder of his life and keep him away from children. Effingham County Superior Court Chief Judge William E. Woodrum Jr. said he would visit the pit bull at the animal control facility at which he is now being held before deciding the dog’s fate, the Savannah Morning News reports.

A donor would pay for the dog’s transport to New York from Georgia if Woodrum agrees to send him there. The family that owned Kno surrendered him after the July 2012 attack on the visiting child, and Kno has been caged at the animal control facility since then.

Melissa Frye, the mother of the injured boy, told the judge that she thinks the dog should be euthanized so he doesn’t injure anyone else. Her son underwent eight hours of surgeries after the attack and is now very fearful of dogs, she testified Tuesday. He had to relearn how to walk and talk after the attack and is expected to have some facial paralysis throughout his life. Frye said she believes Kno “had an agenda” and meant to kill her son, according to the Morning News and the Effingham Herald.

Frye admitted her son touched the dog but said the attack was unprovoked. However, Kicklighter said the injured boy had been told to stay away from the dog, which had a sore on its back, and that a group of boys was screaming in the dog’s face prior to the attack.

See also: “Judge Appoints Lawyer to Represent Pit Bull Facing Euthanasia After Attack on Child”

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