Shelter accused of wrongfully killing dog

Nevada County Animal Control and Sammie’s Friends, a non-profit shelter, are being sued in federal court over allegations it euthanized a dog without observing proper legal procedure.

Jutta Kosielowsky and Danny Baucum brought the suit, which names the defendants as Nevada County Animal Control, Sammie’s Friends and Cheryl Wicks, an employee of Sammie’s Friends, the shelter Nevada County contracts with to house the animals it picks up.

Kosielowsky arranged last year to board her dog, Bashir, at Sammie’s Friends until April 1, 2016, according to a petition filed this week in federal court. However she did not pick up Bashir that day, and Sammie’s Friends took ownership of the dog April 2, 2016.

A week later ‘Bashir allegedly had an altercation with staff members of Sammie’s Friends, and employees contacted Nevada County Animal Control. Bashir was subsequently declared a “dangerous dog” and euthanized.

Kosielowsky complained in the petition that the county did not notify her, depriving her of the opportunity to contest the designation, and that under state law, the shelter was obligated to hold the dog for 14 days before considering it abandoned.

Baucom had offered to adopt Bashir.

“Danny had known Bashir as a good dog …and had a lot of rural property where Bashir could live free and happy,” the petition stated.

However Wicks “unilaterally decided that plaintiff Danny would never be able to get approval for getting possession of a dangerous dog based on her own criteria, and thus, determined that Bashir’s euthanasia should stay on schedule.”

Kosielowsky “suffered the loss of her due process rights, emotional distress and property damage,” according to the petition, which asked for damages, attorney fees and costs, and “such other relief as this Court deems proper.” The petition further asked the court to urge Sammie’s Friends from claiming ownership of animals one day after the pickup date in violation of state law.

Nevada County counsel Alison Barrett-Green said she had not seen the petition yet, and in any case, county policy is to decline comment on pending litigation.

Wicks also declined to respond to the allegations.

© 2017 KXTV-TV


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