WALKERTON — Jaide, an 11-month-old rottweiler and bullmastiff mix, was taken from her owner’s home by Walkerton police officers and St. Joseph County Humane Society workers last Friday.
Jaide’s owner, Anthony Hill, said he was not home at the time, did not know his dog would be taken, and arrived home to find his door kicked in and his canine missing.
“They left my house unsecured…I have three kids, including a 3-month-old baby,” said Hill.
Hill admits that his neighbors have been complaining about his large dog for several months. He has been issued two tickets by the Walkerton Police Department for Jaide being off her leash.
“I kept her on a chain outside, but since (the complaints) started she doesn’t go out anymore,” said Hill.
Hill thinks part of the problem people may have with Jaide is that she looks similar to a pit bull. He has paid for DNA testing to prove that Jaide is not a pit bull.
After receiving tickets from the police department, Hill said animal code enforcement cited him for not registering Jaide as a dangerous dog.
Hill said he doesn’t believe Jaide is dangerous, adding, “She hasn’t bitten anyone or displayed aggressive behavior.”
An ordinance on the town of Walkerton’s website states that a dangerous animal is any animal that has been found to be at large on more than three occasions. Other qualifications for a dangerous animal include one that has bitten or attacked, or attempted to attack another human being or animal unprovoked.
Walkerton police officer Charles Kulp said that a large number of complaints about Jaide have been filed both with the police and with the Humane Society.
“Essentially what has transpired is that (Hill) has a large dog that has been causing problems in the neighborhood,” said Kulp. “All we have done is issued two leash law violations. Other than that we forward complaints to the Humane Society. A judge issued the Humane Society a warrant to enter (Hill’s) home and take his dog, and they requested the police department to stand by while they did that.”
Kulp added, “All the neighbors are terrified of this dog, and there has been a large outcry from the entire neighborhood.”
Dr. Carol Ecker, director of the St. Joseph County Humane Society, would not comment on Jaide’s case beyond confirming that Jaide is at the Humane Society and that the situation is still under investigation.
“(Hill) refused to get a dangerous dog license,” said Ecker when contacted by the Pilot News Monday. “That’s all I can say at this time.”
Hill said he was not allowed to see Jaide Saturday when he stopped by the Humane Society. The family has started an online petition called “Justice for Jaide,” explaining thier side of the situation. So far, 211 supporters have signed.