Higher court agrees with Judge Buzzard’s order that dog should be euthanized

Friday, September 8, 2017 at 6:43 pm

Hank’s family visits him at the Lewis County Animal Shelter

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – The attorney working to save the life of Hank the pit bull terrier announced today a judge agreed with a lower court which ruled Hank is a dangerous dog who should be put down.

“Today, Judge Edwards affirmed Judge Buzzard’s ruling,” Bellingham animal lawyer Adam Karp stated. “However, he did not enter an order at this time.”

The appeal of Lewis County District Court Judge R.W. Buzzard’s June decision was heard in Grays Harbor County Superior Court because all three Lewis County Superior Court judge’s recused themselves.

The 2-year-old pet belonged to a Centralia family which adopted him in January from the Lewis County Animal Shelter. Jan Propp-Estimo, her son and grandson lost him when local authorities realized Hank was actually a dog named Tank which the county had previously designated a dangerous dog because he was implicated with his mother in the killing of two goats in Winlock last year.

The county took him back in May. He remains locked up at the shelter.

Karp said that the judge today basically said it’s not his job to second guess Judge Buzzard.

Presently there is no order mandating Hank’s euthanasia by any date certain.

The parties will return to Grays Harbor County Superior Court at 8:30 a.m. on Sept. 25 to enter the written order of today’s oral conclusions of the judge, Karp said.

Karp said his plan is to appeal today’s decision to the state Court of Appeals, trying to expedite it, for Hank’s sake, he said.

Separately, an action Karp filed on Propp-Estimo’s behalf against Lewis County and some of its personnel seeking damages and other relief was removed to federal court and continues.

Karp this afternoon said something he’s learned in nearly 20 years of practice is, if first you don’t succeed, keep on trying because often one finds justice at higher levels.

“We’re not going to let this dog die, it’s just not going to happen,” he said. “If it requires the Ninth Circuit or the Washington Supreme Court, that’s what we’ll do.

“I feel for Hank, being incarcerated for this period of time; I hope he’ll have the spirit to continue on.”

For background, read “Hank: Judge declines to declassify dangerous dog” from Monday June 19, 2017, here

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38 Responses to “Higher court agrees with Judge Buzzard’s order that dog should be euthanized”

  1. Elise Chaney says:

    I am appalled, outraged, and heartbroken for this family and Hank. This poor dog and this poor family suffer regardless of the evidence proving his innocence. Let him go home! Let him go home! Let him go home! LET HIM GO HOME!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. Elizabeth Stopp says:

    I find this whole scenario about Hank totally ridiculous,how much longer for gods sake is this going to take,anyone would think he is a mass murderer.There are millions of criminals out there that need putting behind bars,but no, a famiy and a dog is a soft target. Why do I feel that the longer this goes on,the more money the courts and lawyers make??

  3. What the helicopter says:

    Lol all this controversy over a flipping pound puppy?!? Go fuck your self Lewis county. Your whole system is corrupt and not one will speak up but for a stupid ass dog we will parade around like a bunch of hippies during the Vietnam war?! We are still busting people for pot and not charging meth addicts, letting county employees who rape and steal 100s of thousands of tax payer dollars a slap on the wrist while giving minor thefts Over a year in jail. Fuck you bunch of dog loving hippocrits. Protest your county officials the problem isn’t with a dog problem it is a corruption problem sooner you realize the better. Protest that.

  4. s. hoecker says:

    Is it just a coincidence that all the judges in Lewis County recused themselves from this case moving the recent hearing from Thurston County to Grays Harbor where the Lewis County prosecutor did his internship? Maybe.

  5. Leonora Renda says:

    While there are many more pressing court cases regarding real issues, the justice system fails to see the stupidity of uphold the judge’s order. This judge muse have owed a favor to the first judge. What justice system does not see they have the authority to second guess a judge when the evidence is overwhelming shows this dog. Is not a dangerous dog and was wrongly accused. To the taxpayers of this county, donyou rrally want judges who waste tax payers money and the county resources in is manner. Time to let the voices of the citizens be heard. Stop this waste of time and money and set this dog free.

  6. That's what happens! says:

    Well when you are a terrible pet owner, this is what happens! Stop letting welfare turd own animals! There not even responsible for their own lives ! Now a poor little dog get fkd because low life scum ! Shame ! How about we start euthanasia on all illegal welfare trash instead? Save tax dollars ? 🤔

  7. shoecker says:

    Lest we forget that the family is still not allowed physical contact with their beloved pet after months of confinement. The reason I was given by the BOCC as the prosecutor’s recommendation was liability. See for yourself. He just might lick them to death. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hETcc63TDOw

  8. John McMasters says:

    The person staying under the radar in all of this is the very person that can end this fiasco. We are all busy blaming the judges when the real person that can stop this nonsense and send Hank home is the DA. He for some reason is determined to kill this innocent dog while wasting tax payers money. Aren’t there real criminals out there to go after? Send Hank home.

  9. Buzzed off says:

    Judge Buzz the “SON”s ain’t nowhere NEAR the Judge their Dad was, and NEVER will be!

  10. Shelley Sykes says:

    You have a lot of heart, Mr. Karp. Thank you for your integrity and determination.

  11. Carla says:

    This has gotten out of hand. Totally ridiculous!

  12. Slater says:

    In 2006 a pit bull named Tank saved a girl in Alaska from being abducted. In 2011 a Pit bull named Tank notifies a California family that their home is on fire.
    In 2015 a pit bull named Tank saves a Connecticut child from a rabid racoon. Now in 2017 we are looking a Washington pit bull named Tank/Hank, who won’t be saving anyone ever because for some reason while the people that he could save have the right to be found guilty BEYOND A REASONABLE DOUBT, he does not because we haven’t figured out yet that a life is a life, and one innocent life in situations like this is ONE TO MANY!!!!!!!!!!

  13. Leslie Stanga says:

    I don’t understand how a judge can hear testimony from the owner of the goats stating that Hank did not kill the goats, had no blood on him and didn’t deserve to die, yet STILL rule Hank a dangerous dog. Is it a bias against Pit Bulls? Is the judge too proud to admit he is wrong? This is such a miscarriage of justice. I no longer have faith in our court system and judges. They hold too much power. Yes, judges are human and make mistakes, but, Mr. Buzzard, man up and admit you’re wrong when there is evidence disputing your ruling.

  14. Judith Nowland says:

    once a dog is classified as dangerous and to be euthanized can that be changed?

  15. Mary Ostrem says:

    The headline is incorrect. Judge Edwards specifically DIDN’T say that he agrees with the lower court, but rather that he was not called upon to second-guess him. Hank’ innocence of the charge that got him condemned, and his temperament, were not under review.

  16. Carrie Asplund says:

    Heartless! How can they do this to this dog?!?! Show some compassion for gods sake! Hank deserves another chance! Place him in a home with no other animals, place him on probation! But do not kill him!!

  17. Heather King says:

    I agree with all the pro-Hank comments but especially with Ms. Roberta Sigala. Will be praying to the Lord Jesus to intervene. Hank and his family deserve justice. Let justice prevail, let the innocent dog go home.

  18. Roberta Sigala says:

    . Jeez!… Unbelievable!… Your compassion…where has it gone?
    . It is very obvious that this doggie Hank is as docile as a pigeon,
    . and more docile than most humans in this world!
    . Almighty GOD, please unharden their hearts, especially the
    . one of the human judge. I ask in JESUS name! Amen!

    . P. S. And, to all the unharden hearts involved in this case:
    . “Let the LORD look on you and judge. . . .”

    Let the LORD look

  19. Judi Nelson says:

    My hope is the judge will reconsider all the evidence and embrace the fact that the owner of the livestock after viewing his dashcam of the incident showed Hank did not harm any animal on his property. There is ample video of Hank’s guardians visiting him at the shelter showing what a gentle fellow he is – kissing his people through the kennel fence. He is a prisoner without a crime. I hope kennel stress does not claim him. That is unkindness at its finest and that will lay at the feet of the judicial system. This dog is a living being. Lead with compassion. Perhaps paying him a visit at the shelter could truly judge his behavior and in a sense allow Hank to testify for himself.

  20. Cheryl Gefrerer says:

    Why doesn’t the judge go visit Hank or look at some of the videos of him? I can see how loving he is. It would be even more obvious in a visit. Before killing Hank the Judge should see him and then make a decision.

  21. Charlotte Wideman says:

    I think if the owner of the goats is happy that the the dog is alive then it should end there. They are treating this dog horribly there are real murders in our jail system that get better treatment than poor Hank is getting. He was reimbursed for the animals and he has also said that Hank was only following what the other dog was doing he did not know he was hurting the goats. he should be freed and treated like any other pet. People from all over the Usa and other countries want to see Hank set free after all he was only doing what comes natural. He did not harm a child or any human this claim to have him euthanized should be dropped . This is a dog who brightens the lives of his family and now people all over the world. How would killing this dog bring back the goats? That have already been replaced. But you can not mend the hearts of those that love him that easily he deserves to live.

  22. Carol Lee says:

    Has this dog Hank, had a temperament test done?
    If not, this seems like opinion rather than fact.
    Insist on testing.

  23. Kimberly Guarneri says:

    I agree with Connie Todd if the owner of the animals that were killed and harmed in the case against Hank/Tank does not Wish or Want Hank /Tank to be put to death , then why should the county and DA , etc….still be continuing with this case at all. It really stands to be considered in this case . I mean how many people are in prison or jail currently awaiting an appeal based on the DNA testing lets say 10 years ago was not as equipped to show that this person was actually not the one that commit the crime but because of the new DNA testing currently today is now making it possible to prove that person is actually innocent . Well then why is or was it not even possible for this judge to take any of the new evidence and testimony in to account with Hank /Tank . What the hell is wrong with the legal system today is pathetic and laws NEED to be CHANGED !!!!

  24. Jodi says:

    Just because the dog killed goats doesn’t mean he is
    Dangerous humans this ridiculous. This judge is a idiot

  25. Kimberly Guarneri says:

    This is so crazy! What a bunch of bullshit with these judges , not
    a single one out of 4 (besides the idiot that refused to admit his judgement was incorrect and fix his mistake) wanting to fix the mess Judge Buzzard set in motion, which when he was given the chance to fix the first mistake he made when sentencing Hank / Tank to die , he failed to be humble and even consider the new dangerous dog law that was put in the day of the rehearing , but to have 3 judges recuse themselves from the case makes it even more clear that they are too either scared & unwilling to go against a fellow colleague , regardless of just how WRONG and UNJUST that fellow judges sentence is and the fact that it concerns a life of a innocent sweet good hearted dog WHO HAS THE RIGHT TO LIVE AND WHO’S LIFE MATTERS !!!ITS UNBELIEVABLE , especially after reading 2 signific articles also on the chronicle website this morning !
    1. A man is in court for putting kittens in a box and expected them to be dead , to upset a women ! That is acceptable behavior in this county it seems to commit horrific acts to animals who have the right to be alive and most did not ask to be here but Gosh Damn deserve to be treated with love and respect !
    2. Then we have to story about the POACHERS KILLING BEARS , Elk, Deer , using dogs to corner these poor protected wildlife on government protected land where there are chased , killed in horrific ways and then photo’s of the poor dead animals , along with videos of them dying by getting ripped apart by dogs , trained to do this which is also illegal to do , These dogs I hope have been taken away from these idiots and getting the chance to be rehabilitated since they were only doing what the idiots that owned them wanted them to do ! I am definitely going to keep track of these cases since they are also ongoing with Hanks Case
    ALSO WHY ARE THESE ASSHOLES GETTING OFFERED BAIL AND HANK , who is so obviously INNOCENT and is been caged without having any real contact with his family , How is this fair and just in the day and age its complete CYA bullshit on all the officials in the state and county and Why is it stated in the article concerning the 2 county workers that regardless of the right and good intentions of these two women Did they get that THE RIGHT AND GOOD INTENTIONS THAT WENT INTO GIVING HANK A SECOND CHANCE MUST MEAN SOMETHING TO ONE PERSON IN THAT COUNTY WITH THE CAPACITY TO DO WHAT RIGHT , don’t they realize what a that would mean for that one stand up officials chance to get votes lets say etc,… in that county for doing the right just action and FREE HANK !!!!!

  26. Christine L says:

    This is absurd!!! I have been following this story from the beginning and I am appalled that this judge upheld the ruling! A ruling hat was based off of bias and ignorance! If hank weren’t a pit bull type dog he would not be in this situation! There is NO proof Hank even attacked these goats, there was no blood on Hank, the goats owner did not see what happened and does not want Hank killed! Even if he had attacked the goats that is absolutely no indication that he would bite a human or another dog. There is no corrolation. Ask any behaviorist! He has shown ZERO aggression towards ANYONE while he was with his adoptive family or at the shelter! Furthermore, his family was wronged! They had no idea he had this previous label, they had no idea the shelter changed his name and adopted him out after a court ruling. The case against the shelter was dropped and so should be the case against Hank. Send Hank home with his family who loves him! He has suffered for such a long time being confined to a cage and not even allowed to do visits with his family outside of the cage! It is animal abuse! Stop the nonsense, admit the original ruling was wrong, and SEND HANK HOME!

  27. Christine Purbaugh says:

    This whole case is one big farse. First, the dog that did the killing somehow got swept away and hasn’t even been charged or incarcerated. Does anyone know where the mother of Hank is? Do they care? So, since Hank was illegally adopted by a loving family the authorities decided that they will confiscate Hank because they new where he was. Hank didn’t even kill anything he was just there with his mother. This sounds like a B rated movie gone wrong. Let Hank go home and live the rest of his life with the family that loves him.

  28. Shanna says:

    The judicial system has been broken a long time. The only thing Hank did was be in the vicinity. He had no blood on him whatsoever. The dog that did is living happily out of state. Anyone that has read all the documents can clearly see Hank is innocent.

    I have faith in Adam & he will continue the fight until every last option is exhausted if need be.

    Sadly in the meantime Hanks visits are behind a cage. He is not allowed to even have his family with him in a secure area. I find the animal cruelty against Hank in this case appalling & when Hank comes home I hope charges are brought against the county & damages are awarded to his family.

    I am very thankful to the wonderful employees that saved him in the first place & was very pleased the charges were dropped against them. It’s now time to drop all charges against Hank.

  29. debbie taylor darino says:

    This is just a gross injustice to this animal, his family, and the people of this country. Quite frankly, the decision makers have turned this simple case into a three ring circus. The attorney for Hank has laid down the facts of this case in truth only to have the justice that should have been served be denied despite the proven facts. Shame on you!!! The entire country is behind Hank, his loving family, and Adam Karp…..do the right thing and return Hank to his family and stop this nonsense.

  30. Debi Cole says:

    Let the dog go home, you have the bad dog in custody. Why are you picking on a child’s dog. The judge made a mistake, fix it and go on doing good stuff, not stupid stuff.

  31. Judy says:

    This entire case needs to end and the dog needs to go home. Every piece of evidence shows this dog didn’t kill any livestock and he is not dangerous. He is being killed for being in the wrong place at the wrong time. An ordinance was passed specifically to prevent the death of dogs like Hank. The judge said it’s not his place to second-guess the first judge? Really? Isn’t that the entire point of the higher Court, to have a place where you can get a second opinion on a matter of law? What a terrible miscarriage of justice by both these Judges. There are real problems in this world- real crime, destruction, pain- and they are abusing the taxpayers’ money & trust by insisting a dog, who was only a puppy following its mother, be put through this nonsense, and by torturing the family who adopted and love Hank. These Judges should hang there heads in shame, and then be removed from their positions. As should everyone involved in pursuing this poor dog & his family.

  32. Michelle G says:

    I agree totally. This dog should be released. The judges aren’t looking at Hanks behavior,loving,caring friendly,they are ” treating him like a human being,an accessory to a crime. The mother dog Sadie killed the goats,and video shows this. I feel its emotional abuse to put the dog through hell,and the family and little boy who misses his dog terribly. This is so sad, putting this dog and family through ” emotional and financial duress. The shelter staff know their job well,thats why they adopted dog out,because hes lovable,calm,extremely friendly. Let he dog go home to his family and stop draining the tax payers money ..this is morally wrong to put family through this duress when dog is being locked up.in a shelter for nothing he did,the mother Dog Sadie did. This is 2017,thousands of Animal Shelters save dogs,and cats and want them.to have homes. This dog Hank had a loving home,and owners. Please release Hank,their are real criminals on street to punish for crimes committed. Release Hank.. Please! Tho I emotionally abusing an innocent playful dog,and hurting a 9 Year Old little boy terribly along with putting family through turmoil also!!

  33. Donna Cox says:

    It was the mans livestock and he didn’t see them hurting them just running around . let the dog go back to his family . If he did hurt them he would have hurt something else and he hasn’t . quit wasting tax payers money

  34. Terry white says:

    This is bullshit. A lot of dogs have prey instincts.

  35. Teri says:

    This has been exhausting and such a colossal waste of taxpayer dollars! Charges were dropped against the two county employees who worked at the shelter, changed this dogs name and adopted him out and I really thought this was a sign that Hank was going to be set free. The owner of the goats testified and provided video-cam proving Hanks innocence, yet these judges insist on euthanizing an innocent dog. I have lost all faith in our judicial system and if you’re a resident in Lewis or Gray’s Harbor county, please vote these jokers out! Enough is enough!

  36. Sherman says:

    Surely there is a simple test to see if Hank is still dangerous. Unfortunately Lewis County doesn’t want to take the risk or be liable in the future if he is released. Meanwhile Mr. Peabody remains woefully incarcerated and cruelly forced to drink fluoridated water!

  37. Jan Ross says:

    Ditto what Connie said. Please let Hank go home. Please.

  38. Connie Todd says:

    REALLY? What a crock of crap! Hank has more than proven himself as a good dog that got a bad rap…. He was following his mother. You show me a puppy that wont follow his mother’s example! Even the owner of the killed livestock has said he didnt want Hank to die. Come on! The money this is costing tax payers between housing Hank at the shelter and the court costs, lawyer’s fees, etc is a total waste! Let those people and that boy take his buddy home and live happily ever after! If he was still prone to attacking livestock, he most likely would have wiped something out by now be it a cat, another dog, bite a person, SOMETHING…..and he hasnt. The livestock owner said he didnt see Hank actually bite the animal, he was just there with his mother running around. I think in a case like this, maybe the ultimate decision on whether an animal should live or die ought to really be in the hands of the guy who suffered the loss of the animals… They claim he took the lives of the guys animals, the guy should be able to take his liife if he so sees fit in my opinion. And, the guy has stated that he wants Hank to live and go home…. He has spoken. Let it be.

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