Phineas a yellow Labrador in Salem, Missouri accused of biting a 7 year old girl had his day in court today and won. Unfortunately the dog went missing recently and is nowhere to be found.
Days before his owners were scheduled back in court to argue once more for his life, someone snatched him from a veterinary clinic where he had been held in custody for over a year.
Authorities aren’t sure who nabbed the yellow Labrador retriever, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.
There were no signs of a burglary. The dog was just gone. And in a town where strong feelings about the case are common; ‘Phineas for Mayor’ bumper stickers have been seen; and Phineas billboards along Interstate 44 beg ‘Don’t let Salem, MO kill me,’ the list of possible suspects is long
Today the Save Phineas Facebook page has announced that Phineas has been found "Not guilty" of biting a child.
BREAKING NEWS: PHINEAS EXONERATED BY COURT!!!
The highlights of the Order:
"Accordingly the court finds that (1) Phineas had never bitten before and (2) Phineas is excluded as the cause of the injury to [the alleged victim] on the date in question...This court hereby, in accordance with the above, enters judgment in favor of Petitioners, orders that Phineas be returned to Petitioners, and permanently enjoins the City from euthanizing Phineas."
Judge Scott Bernstein 10-25-13
According to the page "Phineas, a lovable family lab was sentenced to die because he allegedly mouthed a child when she fell on top of the child he lives with and loves. No skin was broken. The dog was in been in city custody for nearly a year after authorities say it bit a girl in June last year. Salem Mayor Gary Brown says that was the second time that child had been bitten. Her younger sister had been bitten once, according to the police report Brown said. The girls live next door to the owners of the dog. Authorities also say the dog did not have rabies shots up to date. The city deemed the dog vicious and ordered it to be euthanized in July of 2012. The owners of Phineas appealed that decision in court and received support from around the world. "
The Lexus Project, a 501(c)3 that helps with legal defense for dogs, had helped Phineas' family raise thousand s for the dog's defense.
Experts were called in to testify that the child's wound could not have come from the dog.