SALEM, Mo. -- A Dent County Labrador that's garnering national attention has been moved to a new location, but remains in city custody.
According to Joseph Simon, the attorney representing the owners of Phineas the dog, a hearing was held this week and the dog was moved to the Dent County Veterinary Clinic.
Simon says the family visited the dog earlier this week for the first time in a couple months, and they're comfortable that the dog is "getting good care."
The Sanders family says their dog bit a 7-year-old girl last summer. Since then, Phineas has been kept in the basement of a firehouse, then moved to a few other undisclosed locations, including the pump house of a water tower.
The family tells KOLR10 Phineas loved playing with their four kids and they believe the bite was way out of character. The couple says their guess is the dog was being protective of their children.
In an email to Simon, the mother of the girl bitten by Phineas writes, "I am just wanting to set the record straight that I had nothing to do with the dog being held as long as it has."
In another email, Charlene Sorrentino, Certified Canine Behaviorist & Certified Professional Dog Trainer-Knowledge Assessed, writes, "Taking the child's approximate body measurements by the t-shirt worn in the picture stating xs-7 and scaling the 'bite' itself, it is apparent that Phineas made contact with the child's body with a lateral, open mouth. His never bore down, nor did he puncture the skin, therefore making it difficult for me to even use the word "bite."
Simon tells KOLR10 News the dog's relocation was at the urging of the Missouri Department of Agriculture. A scheduled hearing for Thursday on whether to euthanize the dog was subsequently canceled.
second court case to determine Phineas' fate rests in the Southern District
Court of Appeals. Online records indicate the court ordered an emergency stay
of execution. The court has not yet ruled on Phineas' futures.
Meanwhile, a City Council meeting is set for Tuesday, May 28 at the administrative offices in Salem. The public is being allowed to speak. You must register 3 days in advance if you'd like to be part of the lineup of speakers.
A Save Phineas Facebook page was created.