Denison judge orders pit bull to be euthanized

By: Jalah Gray Email
By: Jalah Gray Email

DENISON, TX - A few weeks ago we told you the story of a pit bull that entered a neighbors home in Denison and killed that family's chihuahua. Today a judge decided the fate of the pit bull.

It was an emotional day for the families on both sides of this case.
You could feel the tension in the room when the judge gave his decision.

"My decision in this is this dog needs to be put down, destroyed...it needs to happen as soon as possible."

After hearing testimony from witnesses it didn't take Denison Municipal Judge, Phillip Shaffer, long to order the pit bull to be euphanized.
Investigators say on January 3rd, Shannan Smythe's 2 year old pit bull, Sadie, got loose from her harness and attacked and killed a Chihuahua inside a neighbor's home.
The neighbors say the pit bull was charging their 5 year old girl when the chihuahua jumped in between to protect her.

"I hate to think what would have happened had the dog gotten a hold of the little girl." said Judge Shaffer.

Judge Shaffer wouldn't allow the owner of the pit bull to testify, saying in his twenty years as judge, this is the first time he's ever ordered a dog to be put down.

"I've done everything I've been told to, and she's never gone after a child, she's never done anything and I don't think it's fair." said pit bull owner, Shannan Smythe.

Smythe and his family say they brought video evidence showing their pit bull playing with children, and a petition signed by hundreds of people hoping to give the dog a chance.

"It was very unfair it was one sided, yes she's a pit bull, but she is not a vicious pit bull." said Patricia Reed.

"It was not a fair hearing, I'll tell that to anyone, we will abide by it." Peggy Geesling said.

The chihuahua owners say although the pit bull will be put down, there's no happy ending to this story.

"What if it did attack a kid and it was a kid that died instead of our dog." said Janet Steward.

"It's not a win situation, everybody lost." said Jessica Capshaw.

Judge Shaffer ordered animal control to pick the pit bull up today.
It was scheduled to be euthanized at 2 o'clock this afternoon.


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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Wiil Location: Denison on Feb 13, 2012 at 09:58 AM
    I am glad to see the Judge had the curage to do what was right. I tired of hearing the monster dog owners say "My dog ias an angel and won't hurt anyone' minutes after their dog hurts someone's pet or child. Good job Judge!!!!!!!!
  • by Angela on Feb 9, 2012 at 03:17 PM
    I feel bad that the dog has to die. The owners should be punished. Their dog wouldn't have to be put down if they kept a proper fenced in area for their dogs to roam around. Pit bulls are very scary animals and it should be the owners responsibility to make sure their dogs are not out attacking people or other animals. Sad sad sad.
  • by cathy Location: gainesville on Feb 9, 2012 at 11:46 AM
    i would like to see a pit bull owner go into another pit bull owners yard and see how comfortable he felt around a "strange" pit bull. they are very dangerous dogs and they kill and harm other animals. you could love "uncle fred" but if he killed someone he would need to be put away. is a dog more priviledged than a person. i think they should be band. i had one next door on a chain that ran and barked at me everytime i got out of my car in my own yard to go in my house. i took pictures and told my family to file on them if that dog ever got loose. it was very frightening. i did nothing to provoke the dog. i have petted and been around a "friendly pit" that dog later chewed the ears off a pig trying to kill it. the pig did nothing to provoke. i hate pit bulls
  • by Anonymous on Feb 6, 2012 at 01:38 PM
    So many people stuck on stupid. You can set up Google to notify you of any news stories involving pit bull dogs. Do that, read the stories that come almost daily (I had 8 days in a row with new stories), then publicly defend ownership of the breed. 'All dogs bite',' my pit plays with my kids', 'all my pit would do is lick them to death', etc. can all be found in those stories by people defending the death or mutilation of some innocent person who just happened to be at the wrong place at the time a pit bull decided to do what he was bred to do. Mandatory neutering of any dog of one of the 4 or 5 most likely to kill would save many lives and mutilations in the future.
  • by Christin Location: Fort Worth on Feb 5, 2012 at 04:38 PM
    When are we going to start blaming the humans and not the animals.....
  • by Anonymous Location: Howe on Feb 2, 2012 at 08:20 AM
    Anonymous at 8:11am the dr. had to put 400 stitches in that 18 month old too, that would be one dead dog if that was my baby
  • by Anonymous on Feb 1, 2012 at 11:44 AM
    Keep in mind these defenders of irresponsibility vote! Best choose your candidate carefully. It will take legislation to give law enforcement the proper tools to deal with animal incidents timely and efficiently. It will involve recognition that animals are not human. That will be a hard pill to swallow for some.
  • by Can only Hope on Feb 1, 2012 at 11:30 AM
    I only hope that this judge has a say in the Denison Christmas parade ! As long as they allow pits in the Christmas parade, my family won't be attending.
  • by Alex Location: Durant on Feb 1, 2012 at 07:43 AM
    i have a pit that plays around with little kids and never bites why would you put down a pit cause some poeple tht would understand
  • by boots Location: marshall on Jan 31, 2012 at 12:28 PM
    No matter the breed, if a dog is aggressive it needs to be put down. This should have never gone to court. I feel sorry for all parties involved and hope the little girl doesn't have nightmares. Come on people show a little class we're living in a society here!
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