“Dangerous” Service Dog Spared Life, But Can’t Go Home

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In dog, news

Meet Ava

Ava is a therapy dog for Molly Kimball.

Molly is a 9 year old brain cancer patient who received 6 surgeries and chemotherapy every week.

Molly would often feel dizzy, and Ava was there to support her from falling down.

Molly says:

Everything makes me feel comfortable when she’s there

Then an unforseen accident happened.

In a routine game of hide & seek, Ava bit Molly’s neighbor, Isabella Gernhard:

The young lady next door, af­ter a year of knowing the dog, has a game of hide-and-seek [with Ava] and hid behind her mom’s legs

The dog is trained to give a little kiss or lick when they find the person. It’s a weird situation. The dog was get­ting close, and was on a leash at­tached to a choker collar.

The bite was so severe that Isabella had to receive over 100 stitches and treatment for potential post traumatic stress disorder.

Isabelle’s mother, Elizabeth Gernhardt, said

My daughter was standing eight feet away and the dog just lunged forward and ripped most of her nose off

If the judge declares the dog should be put down, that’s the judge’s decision

After 11 months of service training, a service dog should not lunge

The father of Isabella writes:

I am the father of the little girl that was bitten. Just to set the record straight, they were not playing any games. The dog ran unleashed onto our property. The dog owners ran after and got it on a choke leash. The husband left and my wife and the woman who owns the dog were talking, with the dog on the leash laying on the ground. My daughter was called over to meet the dog again, because she is afraid of the dog ever since it nipped my son on the cheek back in November. She didn’t want to but ‘agreed’ to come by and stand behind my wife. She was not poking, prodding, wrestling, playing peekaboo, patty-cake, or any other game with the dog. She is very allergic to dogs and knows what happens when she pets a dog and doesn’t wash her hands immediately. While the two mothers were talking, Ava lunged for my daughter. She has puncture wounds under her chin in addition to the slashs down her nose.

I love dogs and WE do not want the dog put down, but we don’t want it back in the neighborhood. Retrain it to be a police dog, search/rescue, whatever. This whole situation really sucks. The above is a bit abbreviated, but it’s concise and true. And fyi, Paul the dog’s owner wasn’t even there. I really don’t understand what he was talking about on the video. Thanks for reading.

Yes, a tough situation.

On one side, Ava is a service dog that helps to heal a little girl who is in severe medical needs.

On the other side, Ava is a dangerous that needs to be put down to prevent future attacks.

Then the verdict came in.

The judge declared that Ava can live, but cannot go back to Molly or to the town where they both lived.

Readers, what do you think?

Is this a fair verdict?

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Showing 12 comments
  • ESTHER

    Its really such a sad thing that happened to one the little girl who was bitten, the little girl who so needs the help of this dog and the dog who now has an unknown life ahead of her. I believe that there is always three sides to every story the one who blames what has happened, the one who is trying to defend there selves and the truth.I honestly believe there is more to this story then meets the eye, someone has not fully been honest. So sad to hear as there are many things at stake here , the one who got hurt, the one who is in need of the help of this dog and the one who felt she was doing her job. Sometimes is not always the fault of the animal ……….

  • Shelley

    I am glad that the dogs life was spared but I agree with Melissa it is not the dogs fault, it is the owners, and there is always 2 sides to every story.

  • Melissa

    But they had the dog for months, and being a service dog, something else must have happened that they are not talking about. Like every tells me, there are two sides to every story….wish we could hear Ava’s side. I was bitten when I was child. I know what it feels like, but to this day, I will NOT shy away from a strange dog. It was not the dog’s fault. Why do they always blame the dog.

  • Dana & Karma, SD

    I have a service dog and she would never EVER lunge at a child, much less bite. If she were to do that, she would be immediately retired from service, medically evaluated for any underlying conditions (thyroid, tick borne diseases which can cause sudden aggression) and if none were found, I would likely have a difficult decision to make.

  • Julie

    Very fair judgement. Hopefully the dog won’t cause anymore damage.
    The dog owner’s should be ashamed of themselves for creating a media frenzy, spreading rumors and outright lying about the fact that the dog is a service dog and that it was playing “hide and seek”.

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