After a public outcry from local residents as well as a petition garnering over 30,000 signatures from across the nation concerning Beau, a 2 1/2-year-old lab, golden retriever and German shepherd mixed dog belonging to Dyersburg resident Danny Higgins, the scheduled date for the dog to be euthanized, Oct. 21, has been postponed until Nov. 20 due to a court order filed by the City of Dyersburg on Friday, Oct. 16.
Though the dog was deemed 'vicious' during a court hearing on Sept.26 in city court after allegedly killing a duck owned by a neighboring juvenile, as well as attempting to bite an 8-year-old boy, City Judge Dean Dedmon informed Higgins of his rights to appeal the case. If no appeal was filed, Higgins was to pay restitution to the Dyersburg/Dyer County Humane Society in the amount of $253 for boarding and pickup fees. If Higgins appeals the court order, the total restitution will be in the amount of $373 for the total boarding fees and pickup fees.
During city court, Dedmon also gave Higgins the opportunity to keep the dog, but in doing so he must comply with the terms of the city's vicious dog ordinance. Higgins stated in court he could not afford the money needed to comply with the ordinance.
As public support for Beau from residents from across the United States continued to grow, representatives of the City of Dyersburg and the Dyersburg/Dyer County Humane Society have been contacted on a daily basis by people from around the country wanted to donate the money needed to assure Beau's release.
Dyersburg Mayor John Holden addressed the issue in an open letter to the citizens of Dyersburg and Dyer County, one obtained by the State Gazette on Friday morning. The letter reads as follows:
On October 10, 2014, the Dyersburg City Court ordered the euthanasia of Beau, a dog owned by Dyersburg resident, Danny Higgins, as a result of the adjudication of the dog as "Vicious" under the provisions of the City's Vicious Dog Ordinance. At the hearing on October 10, 2014, the Court offered to return the dog to the custody of the Mr. Higgins on the condition that Mr. Higgins obtain a permit and provide for the dog pursuant to the requirements of the City's Ordinance. In response to this offer, Mr. Higgins refused to take any action to comply with the Ordinance. For this reason, the Court assumed custody of the dog to the local Humane Society and set October 21, 2014, as the date for euthanasia.
In recent days, the City of Dyersburg has been contacted by numerous individuals across the United States and the world, who are interested in securing custody of Beau from Mr. Higgins and removing him from the City of Dyersburg and County of Dyer as an alternative to his euthanasia scheduled on October 21, 2014.
In consideration of these numerous inquires and in the interest of the City, I have directed the City Attorney to obtain a stay of the Court's Order to stay the euthanasia of Beau for thirty (30) days in order to allow any interested party sufficient time to secure custody of Beau from his owner, Mr. Higgins. It is my hope that by undertaking this extraordinary measure, Beau can be removed from the City of Dyersburg and Dyer County without further public outrage and furor prior to his destruction.
I have also requested the Dyer County Humane Society to receive the numerous donations offered by interested parties to defray the costs of Beau's continued care at the Humane Society. Interested parties may contact the Humane Society at (731) 285 4889, 1120 E. Court Street, Dyersburg, TN 38024, for more information regarding such donations.
As Mayor of the City of Dyersburg, it is my responsibility to protect our citizens and children from vicious dog attacks within the municipal limits. In this instance, I am attempting to accommodate the sincere concern of thousands of interested persons who have expressed an interest in saving this dog. It is my hope and prayer that common sense will prevail and that all parties' interests in this matter will be served.
John Holden, Mayor