Phineas, the yellow Labrador retriever from Saint Louis, Mo., and the center of national news after having been accused of biting a seven-year-old child and ordered by the mayor of the city to be euthanized in July 2012 is not only free, but has been found and reported to be at a "safe house" according to Joseph P. Simon Law, LLC on Saturday afternoon.
On Oct. 11, the dog had mysteriously disappeared from the Salem veterinary office where he was being cared for, however nothing else was missing nor was the office robbed; only Phineas was gone.
An investigation and rewards immediately followed, and with Friday's decision exonerating Phineas from harming the child, supporters became even more apprehensive about the dog's safety. And then at 4:45 Saturday afternoon the news broke:
"BREAKING NEWS: Phineas safe and sound.
Phineas was dropped off at a "safe house" today. The family and I were able to visit him.
It's still a delicate situation so that is all we can reveal right now.
We (all of you) did it!!!"
On Friday, Dent County Circuit Judge Scott Bernstein cleared Phineas of all charges and ordered the dog be returned to his family. Highlights of the Order included:
"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."
Within one-half-hour of the news that Phineas has been reunited with his family, thousands of well-wishers on Facebook have shared the good news.
More updates as the news of Phineas continues to unfold.
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