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Dog That Attacked Girl Sprung From County Pound

July 8, 1987

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) _ A pit bull dog that was to be destroyed after attacking a 10-year-old girl was freed from the county pound by someone who climbed over two fences and cut through barbed wire, officials say.

″Sunday night, someone illegally entered the dog pound and removed the pit bull. Now he is missing,″ county dog warden Pete Christoff said Tuesday.

No other cages were disturbed, he said.

The dog’s owner, William Hawkins, was found guilty June 18 of keeping a vicious animal and letting it run free. Magistrate Ruth Garlow fined him a little more than $100 and ordered the dog to be destroyed.

However, the dog, named Max, had to be confined for 20 days to give Hawkins time to appeal.

The 40-pound dog was freed by someone who climbed a 10-foot chain-link fence, cut through the barbed wire atop it and climbed another 8-foot chain- link fence to reach the dog, Christoff said.

Monongalia County sheriff’s investigator Charles Cira said Tuesday that police have suspects in the pound break-in but have made no arrests.

The pit bull attacked Donna Wiles as she walked her family’s poodle on May 15, biting her repeatedly on the arm as she tried to protect her pet, authorities said.

Christoff then ordered Hawkins to keep his dog tied up. But Christoff and police said they received complaints that the dog was running loose and that it had attacked one of Hawkins’ neighbors. They took it away from Hawkins and put it in the pound May 21.

Hawkins has said the dog is ″overly playful″ and that it never attacked his two children.

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