Small dog cleared of 'dangerous' label

June 26, 2012 at 4:40 PM

PATASKALA, Ohio, June 26 (UPI) -- An Ohio woman won a court battle to remove the "dangerous dog" classification from her 2-year-old bichon frise.

Shannon Mills, 43, of Pataskala, said she took the case to Licking County Municipal Court Monday after her dog, Hershey, was classified as dangerous under a law signed by Gov. John Kasich in February, The Columbus (Ohio) Dispatch reported Tuesday.

The designation arose from a May 26 incident when a mother said her 12-year-old boy was bitten on the ankle and called the dog warden to ensure the canine had received its rabies shot. Mills was required to obtain special tags and a microchip as well as confine Hershey behind a fence and post signs warning of a dangerous dog being present.

"We couldn't understand how it got as far as it did," Mills said. "We just felt like our case was not the reason this law went into effect."

Judge David Stansbury tossed the designation for Hershey after the boy and his mother failed to show up for the hearing and there were no photographs or other evidence of the alleged wound. Mills' neighbors also testified they had never had any problems with Hershey.

The hearing was the first under the new law, which took effect May 22.

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