UPDATE 06/26/09: It was reported on April 29 that the woman found with Smiley, Karen Moore, would not be prosecuted. Island County Prosecutor Greg Banks wrote, "The injuries caused by the Smiley saga are healing. I have concluded no good can come of reopening those wounds." On June 26, it was reported that the dog was sent out of the county to receive "training," was renamed to "Kyley," and was adopted to a woman in an undisclosed city.
04/02/09: Smiley Has Been Found
A Whidbey Island dog that was stolen earlier this year amid a legal battle over his life has been located. The dog named Smiley was spotted at the South Whidbey Dog Park with a woman. The animal was taken into custody and transported to the WAIF animal shelter, which confirmed its identity. Smiley is now being kept at an undisclosed location. The woman in possession of the dog was questioned and released. Police say the investigation is ongoing.
02/11/09: Smiley is Still Missing
The search for Smiley continues. On Friday, an Island County judge denied a request by a Freeland couple to keep the shelter from humanely killing Smiley, but ordered the shelter to keep the dog alive pending an appeal. Now both parties are upset. Smiley has health problems and requires a special diet. Bibich also warned that "Smiley is extremely aggressive with cats and small dogs. We don't want to see any other animals harmed."
02/07/09: Smiley is Stolen from Shelter
Smiley, a pit-bull mix at the center of a legal battle, was stolen last night from an animal shelter on Whidbey Island. Shelter manager Shari Bibich said someone broke through fencing into the kennel. She said all that was left was some sausage in the cage. We can't imagine who the (fanatical) culprits might be. Is Smiley actually safe in their hands? Secondly, which "rescue" groups will now shuffle this biter to a new location?
02/07/09: Clock is Ticking for Smiley
The story of Smiley the "biting" pit bull-mix picks up from last November after an odd couple took out a second mortgage on their home to save the dog from death. The shelter had been holding Smiley for two years, but the dog had recently developed into a biter. Due to the onset of aggression, the shelter decided to euthanize the animal. Bob Baker, however, sued the shelter in order to adopt Smiley and save him from death.
Recently in court, Baker said, "We don't need Smiley to come to our home. We just want Smiley to have a life -- a good life." It turns out Baker no longer wants the dog. The shelter said if they let the dog be adopted, they could be liable if he attacks someone. Legal liability has substantial financial repercussions, not to mention the injury a person may suffer. Yesterday, a judge finally ruled that Smiley could be put down. She also left the door open for an appeal.
Struck with legal bills caused by the lawsuit, the shelter wishes it could place the funds toward building a new shelter instead.
11/21/08: Petition to Save Dog
Seattle-based anti-BSL group, FABB, has started a petition to save the "biting" pit bull. The petition states, "He has harmed no one." This contradicts shelter employee, Shari Bibich, who said the dog had bitten multiple times. Bibich's group, WAIF, cared for Smiley for two years. It is due to the dog's recent aggression that they decided to euthanize. If any other dog breed had acted similarly, there would be no lawsuit or petition. The dog would simply be put down.
11/21/08: Sues to Adopt Biter
Whidbey Island, WA - A bizarre couple is suing the Whidbey Island Animal Shelter so that the agency will not euthanize a multiple "biting" pit bull-mix named Smiley. The couple, Bobbie Moran and Bob Baker, want to adopt Smiley, even though the dog is no longer available for adoption. In order to stop the euthanization, Moran and Baker have filed a lawsuit. They are taking out a second mortgage on their $500,000 home to pay the legal fees.
Shari Bibich, of the shelter said, "What we were seeing was volunteers being bitten at the neck, arms, forearms. A member of the public was snapped at in her face." Bibich says the shelter is a minimal kill shelter -- they don’t euthanize animals just to make room or because they’ve been at the shelter a long time. Smiley, has been at the shelter for nearly two years. He recently started becoming aggressive, so they decided he needed to be put down.
We don't make this stuff up.
A judge granted a temporary restraining order, saving Smiley from death. The next court hearing for Smiley will be next month.
09/18/08: Pit Bull of FABB Founder, Pro-Pit Bull Group, Attacks Dog
07/14/08: Adoption Disaster; Another Dog Dead to Pit Bulls
07/13/08: Woman and Son Live with 13 Pit Bulls