The German shepherd taken in by Alton Animal Control as a vicious dog after killing a smaller dog at his new home at Hope Animal Rescue in Godfrey. Co-founder Jackie Spiker worked with the city to save Arrow, who she says is not a vicious animal.
ALTON — Passion, hard work and a few moments of panic on the part of Hope Animal Rescues co-founder Jackie Spiker ensured Arrow the German shepherd has been granted parole.
“Today, Arrow has been released to the care of Hope Animal Rescues, where he will undergo temperament testing, training and obedience to help him be the best dog he can be,” Spiker told AdVantage News after retrieving the animal Wednesday. “With a little luck, he will be transferred into a German shepherd rescue, where he can find a new home that he can thrive in.”
Just before a scheduled court hearing on April 29 with Third Circuit Judge Barbara Crowder, Hope Animal Rescue’s attorney, Chris Donohoo, met with Alton City Attorney Megan Williams and made arrangements for the dog to be turned over to the shelter.
“Once the attorneys worked out an arrangement, the mayor signed the agreement, Animal Control was notified, and they in turn called to say Arrow could be picked up,” Spiker said.
On March 29, Arrow escaped his back yard and attacked a neighbor dog, a Yorkie named Xander, snapping its neck.
“I don’t believe Arrow knew what he was doing,” Spiker said. “He has been a very affectionate dog.”
The 16-month-old German shepherd was confiscated by Alton Animal Control and under its ordinance was deemed vicious for attacking and killing another animal. Spiker then began a crusade to have Arrow turned over to Hope Animal Rescues before he was euthanized.
Arrow’s former owner signed over the animal to Hope Animal Rescues last month and was cited by the city with failure to restrain and for having a vicious dog. They ended up paying $750 in fines and fees.
Meanwhile, Spiker met with City Attorney Megan Williams and Mayor Brant Walker last week to try to find a resolution to the situation, and paid the additional $210 in fees for the time the animal was kept at Animal Control until April 29 out of her own pocket.
Hope Animal Rescue also agreed to a list of requirements imposed by the city in regards to Arrow’s care and supervision, including disclosure of the incident to any new owner of the dog (which is an Illinois law anyway, Spiker says).
Spiker emphasized she did not want to minimize the loss of a precious pet by an innocent family.
“On that day one family lost their beloved furry friend and another family’s neglect in containing their large dog put in motion a chain of events that cost both families their beloved furry friend,” she said.
Although pleased with the outcome, Spiker says she has issues with how the situation was handled.
“Arrow is friendly and playful, but Arrow is a dog and as such he is deemed property in the eyes of the law,” she said. “Property cannot be held responsible for causing injury or death. The owner of the property is the responsible party.
“For example, if you hit someone with your car, they do not come and confiscate your car and then destroy it at the crushing yard. You as the owner and operator of the car is held responsible.”
If the incident alerts pet owners to secure their back yards and do what they can to keep their animals in check, Spiker says the effort was worth the result.
“There is an important lesson in this tragedy that all pet owners truly need to recognize,” she said. “It is your job to be responsible for the animal you choose to purchase or adopt. The actions of your pet are not the problems of your neighbors; they are yours and you only should be held accountable for the actions of your animal.”