-- Update at bottom --
While being walked on Easter evening, a papillon named Ziggy was suddenly and brutally attacked and left for dead by a boxer after it tore away from a leash held by a young boy in Kingfield's Martin Luther King Park. (Read the full backstory here.)
Late last month, the boxer responsible for the attack was put to death by Minneapolis Animal Control, city spokesman Casper Hill tells us.
Both the dog responsible for the attack and its owners left the park before authorities arrived, prompting city officials to ask the public for tips in hopes their identities could be determined.
"After a lengthy investigation that worked off tips, we identified other dogs in the area through a process of elimination," Hill says. "We worked off warrants, directed patrols, and we have no doubt that we got the right dog. The owners of the dog didn't dispute the fact we got the right dog."
Hill says the boxer was deemed a "dangerous dog" by the city, and a "destruct order" was issued.
"There was an initial decision that gave us the right to destroy, and the owner appealed," Hill continues. "That decision went to an administrative law judge, who ruled with the city. At that point the owners could have appealed to a U.S. District Court judge, but they elected not to."
On that fateful Easter evening, the boxer's leash was held by a young boy, but the boy was reportedly with two other small children and a woman who had a baby strapped to her chest. Ziggy's owner's husband was also left with bite wounds incurred when he tried to break up the attack.
Nonetheless, Hill says the boxer's owner won't face charges.
"At this point it's more of a civil case," Hill says. "Pets are considered property and the dog was on a leash. It'd be no different than if I destroyed somebody's non-living property -- it would end up in a civil case."
In a Facebook post, Ziggy's owner, Julene Lind, expressed appreciation for the work done by Minneapolis authorities in the wake of the attack.
"The Minneapolis police dept worked really fast and hard to locate the family walking the dog," Lind wrote (via the Southwest Journal). "Pressure was applied and they brought the [dog] in to animal control. This could not have happened without all the community tips... Ziggy does not come home but seems like she got a little justice!"
:::: UPDATE ::::
Hill got back to us with information about the number of dogs the city has declared "dangerous" in recent years and the number of those dogs that have ultimately been euthanized. Here they are:
2011: 12 dogs euthanized (2 destruction orders not carried out)Hill says he doesn't immediately have information as to why destruction orders aren't carried out in certain cases, but they could include a successful appeal, the dog moving out of the city, or Animal Control electing not to euthanize the dog for another reason.
2012: 7 dog destruction orders (2 destruction orders not carried out)
2013: 8 dogs euthanized (3 destruction orders not carried out)
2014: 3 dogs euthanized (including boxer discussed above; no orders not carried out)