TIFTON -- A day after a dangerous dog board declared "Yoshie," a Doberman pinscher alleged to have brutally attacked a boy over a month ago, as being a "dangerous dog," the animal control director outlined the possible fate of the animal.
After a three-hour meeting Thursday night, the three-member panel voted unanimously to declare the dog as being dangerous, effectively keeping it locked up until the resolution of an ongoing criminal case.
Despite reports by a local television station, the dog will not be euthanized, according to Tifton-Tift County Animal Control Director Regenia Wells.
"The dog board can only declare the dog as being dangerous," Wells said. "Only a judge can determine whether the dog can be euthanized."
"Yoshie" will be housed at the Tifton-Tift County Animal Shelter until the criminal case is complete. Prosecutors and defense attorneys have expressed a desire to use the dog as evidence for the case.
Wells said that after the trial, a judge will decide what to do with the detained dog.
"Well, he can order the animal to be euthanized, or he can order the dog released back to the owner," Wells said. "If he does go back to the owner, he'll placed under several restrictions."
Those restrictions include forcing the owner to pour a six-inch-thick concrete slab and construct a specifically designed kennel, keeping that kennel locked with a child-proof lock at all times. Whenever the dog was removed from the kennel he would have to wear a muzzle to prevent any future attacks.
Wells said that the owner could also be assessed a $250 fine and be required to pay a yearly fee of $200 to the shelter. Animal control would also visit the dog at least once a month to check on the animal.
Animal control officials believe Yoshie was one of four dogs that attacked 7-year-old Ramiro Mendez May 9, biting the boy more than 200 times. The other three dogs were euthanized soon after the attack because they had not had rabies shots.
Yoshie's owner, Rigo Tovar, 27, of Omega and his mother, Maria Socorro Tovar, 46, of Omega, were both charged with reckless conduct causing harm to or endangering the safety of another.