On Friday, the three-year-old Labrador retriever named "Phineas," was found "not guilty" in a child bite case in Salem, Mo.
Joseph P. Simon Law LLC notified Phineas' supporters of the exoneration on Facebook:
"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
Unfortunately, though the order to have Phineas destroyed has been voided, the dog is still nowhere to be found.
Earlier this month, Phineas mysteriously disappeared from the Dent County Vet Clinic where he was being held. Investigators found no sign of forced entry and there are no video surveillance cameras at the clinic.
Earlier this week, the receipt of a letter, from an anonymous individual, turned up.
The letter stated:
"You’re outraged and frustrated you can’t help aren’t you? Well you can help! Your heart aches for Phineas because you care about him. And the best thing he can do is inspire you to care for our fellow earthlings as you care about him. Use that passion for good! Help the dogs on death row at the pound and kittens thrown into the river by adopting, oppose breeders, and spay/neuter. Help our cow, pig, and chicken friends hindered to slaughter by not eating them. Help the beaver drowning in a trap and coon treed by hounds by not wearing fur and leather. Help the rabbits tortured in a lab by fighting against all animal testing, and shopping cruelty free. Help one friend like Phineas every chance you get. Thanks for all you do for our fellow earthlings. And shame to the selfish. If I were on death row I wouldn’t want my fate in the hands of a judge. So Phineas is now safe and happy playing with friends."
Some people believe the letter indicates that Phineas is safe, while others believe that the sentence which reads, "So Phineas is now safe and happy playing with friends," may be in reference to Phineas playing at the proverbial "Rainbow Bridge."
Now that Phineas has been cleared of any wrong-doing, the search is on for his true whereabouts.
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