Mediation scheduled over Hank the dog

Wednesday, December 6, 2017 at 5:57 pm
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Jason Estimo and his son Buddy play with Hank on the floor. / Courtesy photo by Jan Propp-Estimo

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – Lawyers involved in the case of Hank the Centralia dog are meeting for mediation on the matter this week.

Lewis County Civil Deputy Prosecutor David Fine said yesterday that he, attorney John Justice and animal attorney Adam Karp will meet with a mediator on Friday afternoon in Olympia.

A preliminary injunction was issued on Oct. 18, allowing the pit bull terrier to be freed while the case continued in the courts.

Hank the dog went home to his Centralia family that day.

Jann Propp-Estimo adopted the animal from the Lewis County Animal Shelter in January, but the county impounded him in May, after discovering 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, and was destined to be put down.

Propp-Estimo and her lawyer have been fighting in court since then to prevent the dog from being euthanized.

She says he is doing well.

“He’s very happy,” Propp-Estimo said today. “He came away a little bit needy from the shelter, but we just keep working on that.”

Fine declined to discuss further the planned mediation.

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Hank on his way home the day he was sprung from the Lewis County Animal Shelter in October. / Courtesy photo by Jan Propp-Estimo

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35 Responses to “Mediation scheduled over Hank the dog”

  1. Mollie Vreeland says:

    Please leave Hank and his family alone. He has been home with his family now and he is doing so great. He gets along with everyone. He doesn’t show any threatening actions at all. I still believe he wasn’t involved in the killing of those animals – he was just there with his Mom. I’m sure the courts have better things to do – like take care of the criminals, etc..

  2. Reeni says:

    Why why why are you harassing this family and their fur baby? It was shown that he was NOT involved in the trouble.

    Why don’t you leave them alone and let them be. I am sure there are perverts or other criminals in your community that you need to take care of.

    Please leave these poor folks alone. Let them live their lives with their fur baby. We read about how awful this county is, all across the country.

    Santa Fe, NM

  3. David Stopher says:

    How is it that the county is not liable for every accident and injury that occurs there? How can Hank be judged a dangerous dog when there is no complainant. The owner of the goats does not believe Hank was involved in the killing. How can a judge sentence Hank to be euthanized when he has not committed any crime. What is the basis for any legal action at all? The judge that released Hank didn’t rule that the county had no legal standing? What are the grounds for any mediation? Mediation of what since the original case has no standing. You can not mediate a judgement if a case has no standing! Isn’t this all a monumental collection of harrasing actions by the prosecutors and court or/and judges that have acted directly against the owners of the dog? Wasn’t this just ruled on by the judge that released Hank? And finally how could you mediate to impose restrictions on Hank that were not imposed by the judge that released him? This seems to be double jeopardy multiple times over. Someone with standing (all the taxpayers in that county) please sue these officials for gross incompetence, waste or outright misuse of their office and county funds to harass and upset the well being of the owners of Hank at the very least! Please!

  4. Samantha Gorton says:

    Please leave this dog and family alone, and let them live in peace. There are bigger things to worry about. This dog is innocent.

  5. pamela says:

    leave hank alone. he is with his family and he is precious as can be. He is not aggressive at all. I am in Massachusetts and been following it. now leave hank and his family alone now. he is staying put with his family ok love, pam

  6. Brenda Levesque says:

    Can you tell me what is the purpose of killing this dog! If you think he needs killing then I feel sorry for you who ever is responsible for making this decision being called human. We are supposed to have compassion and love and being capable of making sane decisions. Leave this poor dog in his home where he is happy and free!!

  7. Karen Lesko says:

    This is stuff is made for a movie script! Lewis County Civil Deputy Prosecutor David Fine and attorney John Justice, even have movie names that would not have to be changed if a movie were made about this case! Fine and Justice! I hope you can live up to your last names. Right now life has handed you both an opportunity to make an impact on the world and give back to society, to make the right choice and make the world a better place. Please choose wisely, this opportunity may not come again. You have been presented with the opportunity to make a lasting impact on the boys their family and Hank or continue to waste tax payer dollars and harass a loving and devoted family and kill an innocent dog. How does that serve anyone? The girls at that animal shelter knew the original judgement to euthanize Hank was wrong and unfair and they risked their jobs to do the right thing because Hank was unfairly judged and sentenced to death. Similar in a small way to the good and brave people who risked their lives to smuggle Jewish people who were unfairly and inhumanely condemned to death, and brought them to safety during the Holocaust. Life presented those heroes with the opportunity to do good an make a positive impact on society. Who knows where we would be today as a society if it were not for those brave men and women. I pray that you can take a step back and honestly look at how crazy this situation is and how wasting tax money on going after a loving and devoted family could negatively impact the boys in the family and also tarnish your reputation. If you run for office or leave to go to private practice, I doubt this would look good on your resume. The small decisions that we make impact society and those around us in a big way. Most of us start off our careers to make a good impact on the world and to give back to society. Some people loose their way because of hurt and petty people and unfair circumstances; people who do not want to deal with their own pain become mean and bitter and take it out on others. Please do not be the latter. Here is your opportunity to shine, and make the world a better place, make the right decision, make an impact on the world and give back to society. Remember the decisions we make about the opportunities that are presented to us not only impact the world they impact who we become and ultimately impact others around us. Here is your moment to choose good, to make a lasting impact in a good way on all who are involved with this story, especially this family. I pray that the spirit of Christmas touches your soul to do good and make the right decision, to choose good over evil to exercise the better part of yourself, to show us your good nature and judgement and to spread hope that our tax dollars paid to our civil servants are not wasted but used in a positive way to help society. Give us hope, show us you are good people who use our resources wisely and restore our faith in humanity. This is your opportunity to give back to society in a good way and positively impact the lives of others. Please choose wisely you could end up as heroes in the movie of your life or be condemned as the evil Hitler. Remember who you are in the deepest part of your souls and please choose wisely and do the right thing.

  8. Elaine Watson says:

    Hank is home!!! Leave him be!!! This was all wrong from the beginning.Stop the injustice!!!!!

  9. Marcia says:

    Please allow this poor dog to be free permanently. He is free now and deserves to be allowed to live with his family forever. He is not a dangerous dog, just look at all these comments! I have followed his story from the beginning. He has never done anything wrong. Family has had to come up with money to cover attorney’s fee and court costs. Please leave this dog alone!!!

  10. Carol Lee says:

    Personally, I fear this court, prosecutors and judge more than I fear a dog named Hank. Their overreach is apalling. The waste of taxpayer money astounding.

  11. Tanja Hartner says:

    Please Let lovely Hank and his wonderful family live in peace! No resrictions for Hank! He is a lovely sweet dog and not !!! dangerous!! I have been following this case since last summer from Germany! We can see in every video that Hank is cute and a beloved family member. This wonderful family is going through hell with all these battles. It’s Christmas time! Please let them live in freedom with beloved Hank! NO restrictions!

  12. Mary Marciante says:

    Following this case from afar, this looks like nothing more than ego flexing to me. I can not fathom any other reason that this is still an issue. Enough is enough. And for those that ask ‘what if he bites someone in the future” – I haven’t heard or seen any irrefutable evidence that Hank (Tank) ever harmed anyone in the past, or has exhibited any behavior that would indicate there is a risk of him doing so. Like I said previously, enough is enough.

  13. Jackie Listecki says:

    This has gone on way to long. Hank deserves to continue to be free with his family. I thought the court system was about justice and doing the right thing. With all the facts released, it’s time Lewis County closes this case and leave this family, and Hank live their lives.

  14. The Mann says:


  15. Ann Radband says:

    I have to say that I have been following this really scary, spiteful and twisted scenario for months now. All of the posters on here, with the exception of a couple, have described the alarming events objectively, accurately and fairly. I would just like to add that from the outside looking in and viewing this from the UK., I am incredulous that this is still an ongoing witch hunt. With respect, the events leading up to Hank’s release were a dreadful advertisement for USA animal justice and that was bad enough in itself but having learned that the family are now having to overcome this latest hurdle is just beyond shocking! The USA has all sorts of image issues at the moment which need to be addressed … I would suggest someone with power and influence should consider employing some perspective and common sense at this juncture. Please withdraw with grace and humility before your collective reputations are tarnished even further! I would be fuming if I were a resident tax payer about such irresponsible housekeeping when monies should be directed to worthwhile areas with substance where it is needed. Shameful!

  16. Louise says:

    It needs to be done. Hank is home, happy and loved. Stop spending taxpayers money for a personal vendetta. It seems you have more pressing issues ie, drug abuse, homelessness, crime that is possibly come from the before mentioned ….geesh. Get real with real issues. Leave Hank and family alone and move on. Waste of courts money

  17. Morgan McClure says:

    Hank is home and should stay there! He is a sweet, loving and loved dog! Shame on the bully judge who will let his pride get in the way of doing what is right! Hank was proven innocent and doesn’t have a mean bone in his body. If Hank’s life is treated by petty and cruel humans, the people of this county will react with their votes! Leave Hank alone and spend your time and money on real problems!

  18. Cheryl Gefrerer says:

    This dog has been home with his family for a few months now. He’s had lots of visitors and is friendly to all. It’s time for the Prosecutor to swallow his pride and let Hank go!

  19. BleeBloo says:

    they need to sign a covenant not to sue the county for when the dog snaps and kills a family member

  20. Ronda Dowd says:

    I’ve been following the story of sweet Hank for quite sometime. This dog doesn’t pose a threat to anyone! It was proven that he wasn’t involved in the killing of the goats or injury of the pony. There is a picture of him in the backseat of the cop car with no blood on him at all. Besides he grew up with these animals they were his friends. Most importantly the owner of the animals dropped the charges on Hank (then Tank) he was also given up for adoption. Thank God! Because his current family is the most loving wonderful Doggy family around. They went through so much to free Hank. The visited him daily even through the gate as they weren’t allowed to hug or play with him because he was deemed “dangerous”?? I even called the shelter and the wonderful workers raved about how sweet Hank is to everyone. It is a horrible thing to even consider removing Hank from this wonderful family that have worked so hard to bring him home. He is not a threat. Dog Breed Predjudice is so old and only for the uneducated. I grew up in Portland, OR and knew it to be progressive and knowledgeable. I can’t believe Washington is this outdated with knowing that it’s the owner NOT THE BREED that can make a dog dangerous. I’m so grateful this last judge let Hank come home. I hope they can learn from this situation and let Hank live his life peacefully with his family….especially at Christmastime.

  21. DrGringo says:

    I’ve asked that same question, Sherman. I’m glad Hank/Tank is with people who love him and hope everyone lives happily ever after, including Lewis County taxpayers.

  22. BobbyinLC says:

    I know Hank is free but in the picture abve does he get to drive himself home? ha ha. Glad this has worked out.

  23. XDs says:

    Let’s kill Hank for an allegation yet give these junkies 151 chances…..makes sense. WTF…???

  24. Cherrie McCarron says:

    There are so many things wrong about this case, they are too numerous to mention. Hank is clearly a loving dog who has integrated well into family life. His family are courageous incredibe people who have been fighting this terrible injustice since May (when Hank was first removed from their care by Lewis County). Hank was not directly involved in the attack on the goats, he was in the wrong place at the wrong time, and this has been confirmed by the owner of the goats who witnessed this first hand. Not only is Lewis County victimising a clearly innocent dog and putting Hank’s family through a living nightmare, but the waste of public funds in pursuing this case is simply staggering. Where is the justice here (and isn’t “justice” the very point of our legal system). Justice means”the quality of being just, rightgeousness, equitableness, or moral rightfullness”. If you apply these definitions to the case of Hank justice in Lewis County is clearly deeply flawed. This case is not about the ego of the judiciary, but the life of an innocent dog, and the family that have fought tirelessly to have him back where he belongs. Let true justice prevail and let Hank remain with those that love, value and cherish him.

  25. Leonora Renda says:

    Stop wasting tax payors money. This dog is not vicious. Stop this nonsense. Surely resources could be better utilized working to keep criminals off the street and not going after this dog. Start asking why the focus is here instead of creating a safe place to live,

  26. Brenda-Cabin says:

    Prayers Hank is set free with no restrictions. My Christmas Wish was for Hank to be set free & get to go home with his family without restrictions. PLEASE officially completely release Hank without restrictions to his family that loves him. Hank is extremely happy to be home. Hank was wronged!! Praying someone has a heart and releases Hank.

  27. Sherman says:

    How does the county relinquish its liability if Tank attacks an animal or human in the future?

  28. Deanna LaBella says:

    Is euthanization really called for here?
    Any person with sage thinking who can see the whole picture can tell that there is more to this story than some would want you to know.
    He is a pet. He is not a killer nor has he been convicted of that. He has been slighted and the only one who did him justice was the one who set him free. Bravo. Hank is and should be free.

  29. Tanya crawford says:

    Please please let this dog and his family just live in peace. He’s not hurting anyone nor was he in the first place.

  30. Susie Alleman says:

    This has gone on WAY to long. This wonderful boy (his videos are posted regularly on how loving he is) is obviously not a threat to ANYONE and his entire family loves him dearly. Again, the prosecutors in this case, really need to take a look at priorities and where your money is being spent (I say your because you are all taxpayers who are paying for this RIDICULOUSNESS).

  31. Teri Clouse says:

    I have personally met Hank, seen him interacting with numerous individuals including children, and he was such a calm and sweet dog. I fed him treats, rubbed his belly and received nothing but gentle kisses from him. Lewis county, I beg you to let this go and allow Hank and his family to live in peace. Hank was obviously mislabeled a dangerous animal, admit it…end of story.

  32. Susan Dauphinee says:

    Praying Hank will be freed from his ordeal and spend the rest of his life in peace with his loving family

  33. dewsmom2 says:

    This case just seems to be a never ending story.
    why doesn’t the prosecuting attorney John Meyers quit this nonsense.
    the dog is not vicious, he is a loving family dog.
    Mr. Meyer is costing the tax payers of Lewis county a lot of money for no reason.
    sign off on this issue stop letting egos determine what you peruse and what you don’t.
    a rent there real’bad”guys to prosecute instead of a family dog. that Lewis county already said he s free to go and adopted him out. let it go Mr Meyer let it go.

  34. Tiffany Niewohner says:

    Good grief I thought everyone had come to their senses and just allowed this dog to go home and love and be loved. I am going to be brutally honest & say how disappointed and disgusted I am that this first of all became an issue, but second that it’s one again. Please just let this family and their beautiful dog live happily ever after. Hank has done nothing prior and nothing since being released. Actions speak volumes and he just needs his people in the way they need him. They’ve been through so much already. How about this just remain a happy ending and move onto the bigger matters in the world?

  35. Puggs Doyle says:

    Please let this dog remain at home, free without restrictions. Too much time and money has been wasted in court already and the government overreach is literally over the top.

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