DYERSBURG, Tenn. — A judge in Dyersburg has issued yet another stay in the case of a dog set to be euthanized.
A judge will allow attorneys to take their case to appeals court or back to Dyersburg city court.
City officials said Beau, a golden retriever/German Shepherd mix, killed a duck and nearly attacked a little boy two months ago. The actions allegedly took place in a Dyersburg mobile home park where Beau lived with his owner, Danny Higgins.
A judge ordered the dog be put down, but Higgins insisted the dog is not vicious and had been chained when he left his home.
Police reported the dog showed signs of aggression toward officers and animal control personnel.
Support for the dog has been pouring in from across the country as have donations for Higgins. At least one rescue group said it would take the dog if Higgins signed him over, but Higgins reportedly declined.
The judge’s decision has brought new hope for Higgins and his legal team.
“For now, everybody take a deep breath and relax, Beau is safe. Beau will not be euthanized in the foreseeable future,” Bryan Mauldin, a retired civil rights lawyer from Memphis, said
Mauldin is consulting for the defense team representing Higgins in his effort to win complete freedom for his dog Beau.
Mauldin said Circuit Court Judge Lee Moore’s decision to grant Beau a stay from being euthanized on Thursday is somewhat of a victory for Higgins and his dog.
“He can take his case to the next higher court, which is the Court of Appeals in Jackson,” Mauldin said.
In October, we accompanied Higgins while he visited Beau in the Dyersburg Shelter.
“There you go big boy. Give me a kiss, give me a kiss,” Higgins said as he played with Beau.
Higgins has only been allowed to visit Beau at the shelter because the dog has been housed there since September.
“All the neighbors know that he is a good dog,” Higgins said.
Attorney William Edwards also represents Higgins.
“We just don’t want the dog to be declared vicious. At this point we just don’t think it’s a vicious dog,” Edwards said.
Edwards said his client didn’t have an attorney when a Dyersburg Municipal Court Judge declared Beau vicious and ordered him to be euthanized. He went on to say he questions the way the investigation was handled, and said no evidence has been presented to show that Beau ever killed a duck or threatened a youngster or police officers.
Edwards said he aims to challenge Dyersburg’s vicious dog ordinance if he can have the case returned to City Court.
“We feel that the dog ordinance in Dyersburg is overly broad. Most of the experts we’ve talked to said no dog on America could survive this statute,” Edwards said.
The City of Dyersburg is reportedly paying thousands of dollars to attorneys to fight Higgins’ appeal.
The mayor, who granted Beau’s first 30-day stay, told News Channel 3 he couldn’t comment on Thursday’s decision, but said he never wanted to see Beau euthanized.