A Superior Court judge has appointed an attorney for an Effingham County pit bull dog that attacked a 5-year-old boy.
Judge William E, Woodrum Jr. “in the interest of justice” appointed Springfield attorney Claude M. Kicklighter to represent the dog named, “Kno.” Kicklighter is not receiving a fee will also represent the dog’s owners.
Kno attacked 5-year-old Wesley Frye on July 24 while the child was playing with another child inside a neighbor’s home in the Paddleford Subdivision. One of the dog’s owners, Julie Long, was able to stop the attack by getting the dog outside.
Frye’s injuries were severe and he underwent two surgeries shortly after the attack.
The dog was taken to the Effingham County Animal Shelter the day of the attack and the owners surrendered ownership.
The dog was then classified as a dangerous animal by the humane enforcement deputy and an Effingham County magistrate.
The dog’s owner, Larry A. Long Jr., was informed by a letter from the Effingham County Sheriff’s office of his right to request a hearing to contest the dangerous dog classification.
The letter, however, didn’t tell Long the county planned to euthanize the animal, according to a petition filed by the county with Superior Court.
The county then asked for a hearing to determine if Kno would be euthanized. It is the county’s position that no attorney is needed for Kno or his owners.
A hearing as to why Kno should not be euthanized will be held in front of Woodrum on Oct. 25.
Effingham County Sheriff’s Office spokesman David Ehsanipoor said Wesley Frye is still recovering from the attack.
“He is improving and is better,” Ehsanipoor said. “He still has scarring and the right side of his face is paralyzed. He may be having some more surgery in the next six to eight weeks, but he is back at school and recovering.”
Meanwhile Kno is still being held separate from other dogs in an enclosure at the county animal shelter.
“There has to be a lesson for dog owners and for people not to allow their children to go to other people’s houses with dogs,” said Romie Currier, director of animal control for Effingham County.