UPDATE: Henrico woman to appeal 'dangerous dog' ruling

By Andy Jenks - bio | email
Posted by Terry Alexander - email

HENRICO, VA (WWBT) - A judge comes down hard on a Henrico woman whose dog now joins an exclusive, but unpopular, club.

On one side: There's a family whose Yorkshire terrier was killed. On the other: There's a woman whose pit bull was blamed for it. And when the judge said the pit bull is a "dangerous dog" that got emotional reactions from both sides.

Sanya, Addison, and 13-year-old Sierra Brown left the courthouse pleased with the ruling, but still shaken up.

"When I saw the pictures it made me think about the whole situation and seeing her die, it just made me shake, and I couldn't get my words out," Sierra said.

Back on April 8, Sierra was walking a Yorkshire terrier named Sasha on Jan Road, when a pit bull named Deuce ran toward her. Animal Protection later said Deuce grabbed the Yorkie by its throat, causing a mortal injury. The pit bull's owner, Deanna Adams, tried to convince the judge the girl was the one responsible.

"The larynx was not crushed because of my dog. The larynx was crushed because she was pulling the leash the whole time," Adams said. Based partly on photographic evidence, the judge quickly disagreed.

According to the dangerous dog registry, Adams becomes the owner of just the fourth dangerous dog in Henrico County. Among several things: she'll have to install a fence around her house. She must post a sign on her property advising neighbors of the dog. She must also buy $100,000 of liability insurance, and put a tracking device on her pit bull. She still believes it's not fair.

"And you know what? He's the best dog I've ever had, and it's not fair. And I'm gonna do what it takes. I'm gonna get it taken care of. My pit bull is not dangerous at all," Adams said, through tears.

But the Browns believe justice was served. They say they're doing their best to move on.

"I'd like to put it behind us and hope for the best, but I'm just glad we don't have to worry about that dog being in the neighborhood anymore," said Sanya Brown,  Sierra's mother.

Deuce, the pit bull, is still in the custody of Animal Protection until Adams complies with the dangerous dog rules. She has ten days to do so, but also plans to appeal today's ruling.

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