Report: Suspect dog's DNA not on dead dog

DNA samples taken from a dead Pomeranian did not match those of the dog suspected of mauling him to death.

St. Clair County Prosecutor Mike Wendling said a new hearing will be scheduled for a judge to decide the accused dog's fate.

"(The DNA test report) says that the sample taken from the deceased animal and the sample taken from the suspect animal did not match," he said.

Wendling said a new hearing has not yet been scheduled. He said all of the evidence, including the new DNA results, will be presented to the judge.

"It's just another piece of evidence," he said.

Wendling said his office takes cases of potentially dangerous animals seriously because the area has seen "horrific" cases.

"And we take that very seriously because that animal, if dangerous, is dangerous to everyone else in the community, other animals in the community ... children," he said. "The court can hear the additional evidence and come to the appropriate result."

Wendling said his office will not be expending resources on a second DNA test.

Earlier this month, District Judge Michael Hulewicz gave a 30 day stay on the euthanization of the suspect dog, a Belgian Malinois named Jeb, to allow the defense, the Job family, to conduct the DNA test.

He originally ruled Sept. 19 that Jeb was a dangerous animal that must be destroyed after hearing testimony the dog was found standing over the neighbor's dead Pomeranian, Vlad, Aug. 24.

A dog is considered dangerous if it bites or attacks causing serious injury or death to a human or animal when it is under the control of its owner, according to Michigan law.

Jeb has remained at the St. Clair County Animal Control since the incident. According to the report by animal control, Kenneth Job surrendered Jeb voluntarily.

A Facebook page titled "Free Jeb - Belgian Malinois," has called for his release. Requests by the Times Herald for comments have not been returned.

Ed Marshall, the Job's lawyer, said they believe the dog should be released.

"You've got people who've been convicted and in prison for years and when the DNA comes back the court releases them — why should a dog be any different," he said.

Marshall said the results should have been enough for the prosecutor's office to drop the case.

"(Wendling) just seems bound and determined to deny this disabled veteran his service dog," he said.

A petition for Jeb's release at change.org has garnered more than 98,000 supporters.

The veterinarian who examined Vlad wrote in his report to animal control that the dog's injuries were consistent with being picked up and shaken by a larger dog. At the show-cause hearing, he said Vlad also could have been attacked by a larger animal, like a coyote or mountain lion. Vlad suffered from severe bruising on both shoulders and a puncture wound on his right leg. There was another deep wound found on his left side that penetrated the chest and broke two ribs.

Pam Job, Kenneth Job's wife, testified during the September hearing Jeb is a service dog that helps her husband, who suffers from a condition that causes his muscles to deteriorate.

Port Huron Times Herald


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