Burien Girl Pleads Guilty To Using Pit Bull As A Weapon; Dog “Snaps” Will Be Released To Sanctuary

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The 16-year old Burien girl who was accused of using her pit bull as a weapon in an attack on two women in SeaTac has plead guilty to charges of second-degree assault, third-degree assault and minor in possession of alcohol.

The suspect, who is not being named because she is underage, had trained “Snaps,” the pit bull (pictured at left), to attack, according to charging papers (read our June 22nd report here).

Her sentencing is scheduled for Oct. 8th, and she faces between 15 to 36 weeks in juvenile confinement.

Court documents (view/download PDF here) allege that the female and a group of boys were found abusing the animal on June 21st before the two women were attacked by the dog.

“Snaps,” the pit bull used as a “weapon,” will not be put to sleep, and was scheduled to leave King County Animal Care and Control today (Fri. Sept. 11th) so he can live at the Olympic Animal Sanctuary in Forks, WA.

King County Animal Care and Control staff determined that, due to “Snaps” continued aggression towards people, he should not be placed with a foster or adoptive family as is often the outcome for other animals surrendered in criminal cases.

Two independent behavior assessments commissioned by King County from outside experts supported that determination and the recommendation that long term care in a sanctuary was the only option for the dog.

Olympic Animal Sanctuary, a non-profit animal welfare and rescue organization located in Forks, has agreed to take custody of the dog. It provides a place for the care and rehabilitation of dogs that are non-adoptable due to behavior such as fighting dogs, street dogs, feral dogs, wolf or coyote hybrids, and dogs that have killed other animals or bitten people. Staff take their time rehabilitating the animals to ensure the process is done correctly and to help the animals learn to get along with humans and each other while never being placed for adoption again.

The City of Forks does not require nor offer a kennel license; however, the Forks Police and Clallam County Sheriff’s Departments are in frequent contact with the Sanctuary and are very knowledgeable about the facility and the work being done there. King County Animal Care and Control has been in contact with the City of Forks Police Department to alert them to their new resident.

“The Olympic Animal Sanctuary will be a great place for Snaps to rest, heal, and learn to be a normal dog, even if he will never be truly safe for adoption,” said King County Animal Care and Control Manager Nancy McKenney.

The staff at King County Animal Care and Control cared for Snaps while the case of his former owner moved through the justice system.

“This is an example of the hard work our staff does to ensure that every animal has a chance,” said McKenney. “It’s one of the many reasons we only have a 20% euthanasia rate; one of the lowest in the country.”

King County Animal Care and Control extends its thanks to all the Snaps supporters who have e-mailed, called and offered to adopt the dog (several of whom rallied through this very blog).

“Experts agree that this dog is not a good fit for adoption but we encourage his supporters and others to consider bringing home one of the other adoptable pit bulls and pit bull mixes we have in our adoption kennels,” McKenney said.

Situations like the one with Snaps can be avoided through responsible pet ownership. If pet owners are having trouble managing their pet, they’re urged to consult a certified animal trainer.

For more information on responsible pet ownership, please visit the King County Animal Care and Control Pet Tips Page: http://www.kingcounty.gov/safety/AnimalServices/pettips.aspx.


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5 Responses to “Burien Girl Pleads Guilty To Using Pit Bull As A Weapon; Dog “Snaps” Will Be Released To Sanctuary”
  1. Though I have not yet become a frequent viewer of the B -town blog and came to the site today to do some unrelated research, I was so pleased to read that this victimized and abused creature has a chance to know kindness and loving guidance in this life.

    I have not however, discovered an update regarding the brave woman who first stepped into harm’s way on Snaps’ behalf. Nor a follow-up with the second fine woman who witnessed the incident, courageously assumed civic responsibility, experienced a vicious attack and assured the arrest of this child.

    Should it be ME that now bears indelible scars and the necessary burden of recalling these fateful events, to know how very unlikely it is that this child and her younger associates will also discover kindness and loving guidance that might free them of desperate circumstances and open to them new path toward a wholesome and hopeful future…..

    We SAY we love our children, yet we have failed to properly nourish the bodies and minds of our most precious and vital resource: ALL children of this world. Collectively we are MORAL failures on local, national and global levels regarding this issue and just about every other as well.

    We witness and suffer today the very fruits of our collective failure: the ardent perpetuation of ignorance, viciousness, indifference and short-sighted self-interest that plagues local national and global debate over issues including those so fundamentally and absolutely crucial to the fates of human culture and other beings upon this earth.

    Many will say that I diminish here the many good works and tireless dedication offered by countless individuals and organizations to bring relief, reduce suffering and endeavor to bring about lasting change. I do want believe that such souls by their very nature are not perishable, and that their intentions and accomplishments are eternal.

    But I all too often find it difficult to agree with a personal conclusion expressed by another young victim of our worst intentions, dear Anne Frank. Near the end of her short life she wrote that she did still believe in the fundamental goodness in all people.

    People, let us cling to this hope. Let us honor countless lives lost but not wasted. Let us not waste our own lives in petty divisiveness nor in unproductive sentimentality.

    Let us rise to this occasion afforded us within our democracy, endure the discomfort of right action and loudly insist on TRUE LIBERTY AND JUSTICE FOR ALL.

    Please consider of the following thoughts on democracy written by First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt – coincidently published on the first day of my life. She was composing this just as I belted out my very first holler on this earth. MY DAY!

    “There are many definitions of democracy, but I think it is usually thought that democracy functions when the will of the majority is expressed and when all abide by it until that will changes. It is true that the will of the majority is not always wise, but if you believe in democracy you believe that basically there is good in the vast majority of people and, given time, education, and good leadership where people are able to express themselves freely, they will eventually arrive at wiser decisions than can be assured by the rule of the few supposedly wise individuals.

    “in those governments that actually depend on the will of the few, you see the few as often wrong as the many are wrong. And those of us who believe in democracy and are against any type of fascism or communism or any type of totalitarianism, are those who believe that on the whole greater wisdom lies in trusting to the will of the majority.”

    -excerpt from, “My Day'” by Eleanor Roosevelt
    December 10, 1952

  2. I wish to make correction to my original understanding of details of this incident.

    The court document referenced in this article clarifies the aggravations and abuses going on that evening. It appears that in fact a number of citizens had attempted to intervene on behalf of the dog being abused, that officers had been actively summoned by several concerned individuals to a series of related incidents that evening.

    I want to express my gratitude to EACH of those folks who stood up and took right action when they might have instead looked the other way. Thank you all.

    The woman who suffered the most serious physical injuries that evening is in fact an acquaintance of mine. I do not know her well, as our interactions to date have been very brief. Many have admired her kindness and dedication to serving our community in more ways than this. I hope that one day we might indeed call each other ‘friends’.
    Thank you, dear H!

  3. Rob says:

    That is so great that “snaps” is getitng a second chance on a new (and hopefully) gentler life.
    I just hope that the girls parents get some help on learning how to deal with her.

  4. Manilla says:

    sounds like our old neighbors who tormented everyone in the neighborhood, they moved to SeaTac…..had a pitbull, terrorized everyone within their reach….”parent” was worse than the kids!!!

  5. Manilla says:

    …oh did I mention, they put another neighbor in the hospital as he walked down the street one night…..S.W.A.T team visited as well as police on countless occassions….need I go on?

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