Dog’s Life Spared, But Springdale Vicious Animal Ordinance Stands

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SPRINGDALE (KFSM) – A Springdale man has his dog back after it bit a city worker in July.

The dog, named Poseidon, was released to Jesus Martinez this month, after spending more than two months in the Springdale Animal Shelter.

Earlier this year, the City of Springdale passed an ordinance to protect residents from potentially vicious animals.

Poseidon was labeled a vicious animal after he bit the city worker.

“My fear was that they were going to put him down,” Martinez said.

According to Martinez, Poseidon was hit by a vehicle, a witness then called for authorities for help and that is when Poseidon bit the worker.

Per the terms of the city ordinance, Poseidon could have been banned from Springdale or been euthanized.

Martinez originally lost in court, but then hired a lawyer.

Martinez’s lawyer, Chad Atwell, was able to convince the city it was unconstitutional to hold Poseidon because he was Martinez’s property and was not considered evidence in the case.

“Without my lawyer, I wouldn`t have him back,” Martinez said.

Springdale Mayor Doug Sprouse said, although he did not know the specifics of the court case, the ordinance stands despite the ruling.

“The ordinance was approved by the council, with our city attorney doing research and working on it,” Sprouse said. “Just because a court case goes one way, or another, doesn`t change the validity of the law, or the ordinance.”

Meanwhile, Martinez was court ordered to keep his dog kenneled at home, and muzzled in public. He said he also has to buy liability insurance of at least $50,000 and had to the shelter for the nearly three months Poseidon was held there.

“I am fine with it, as long as I have [Poseidon] back,” Martinez said. “I don`t care how much I had to pay, it was worth it.”

Martinez told 5NEWS our original story, which aired after a viewer called saying she witnessed the incident, helped his case.

3 comments

  • Sam

    The council member that got that law passed really needs a swift kick in the rear. I’d almost bet money fifty per cent of dogs won’t let a stranger grab them.

  • David

    An animal in distress will bite, kick, paw, scratch etc…. when they are hurt. It was a normal reaction for the dog to bite if it had been hit by a car and was hurting. This issue should have never gone to the courts and the money paid should be refunded. The dog should not have to wear a muzzle in public or be kenneled at home. Where was the common sense on the city worker ? The worker was not trained to handle dogs or cats etc… or if he was, he didnt follow training procedures.

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