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Update: Kids Instigate Attack
Teen pleads not guilty; Snaps in limbo.

In June, Julia Kamysz Lane wrote a post about an attack involving a dog. A group of teens allegedly beat a dog, and when strangers intervened, they attacked and sicced their dog on them. The story touched a nerve in all of us—and inspired unprecedented response; anger and sadness pervaded every comment. The overwhelming sentiment was that Snaps, a Pit Bull at the heart of the matter, would be forced to pay a heavy price for the bad choices of the people around him. Even one of the attack victims has said the dog was innocent.

Two months later there have been a few developments in the case. In July, the now-16-year-old who reportedly instigated the attack pled not guilty. She’s been charged with two counts of third-degree assault and one count of being a minor in possession of alcohol. Each of the three charges can result in a 30-day jail sentence. The other younger teens are not being charged at this time. A spokesman for the prosecutor told The Seattle Times “that his office plans to ask for an exceptional sentence if the girl is convicted.”

Meanwhile, Snaps is still alive but in grim circumstances. According to KCACC Exposed, the dog is being kept in solitary confinement at a King County Animal Care and Control shelter. KCACC Exposed is grassroots organization working to improve conditions for animals at the county-run shelters, which have been mired in controversy since a report earlier this year cited “inhumane” practices and “gross inadequacy” in housing animals.

In a July 27 letter to King County Council and King County Prosecuting Attorney Dan Satterberg, KCACC Exposed writes:

“For the past month [Snaps] has been locked in solitary confinement at KCACC; kept alone and terrified in a small, bare concrete kennel, without exercise, fresh air, social contact, or enrichment – or even basic comforts such as a bed or towel to sleep on. In fact, KCACC management has gone so far as to specifically instruct its officers that Snaps is to receive only minimal levels of care, such as food, water and cage cleaning, and that staff members are not supposed to make any effort to ease his misery.”

While Snaps’ future has not been officially declared, the decision to keep him isolated bodes very ill for his future.

Lisa Wogan lives in Seattle and is the author of, most recently, Dog Park Wisdom. lisawogan.com

Image from King County Sheriff's office.

CommentsPost a Comment
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Submitted by asereth | August 12 2009 |

Disgusting. I hate reading stuff like this. Keeping the dog in solitary confinement?! What a great way to make him even more fearful of humans! Those teenagers should be sentenced to 5000 hours of community service at the shelter in addition to jail time - hopefully in solitary confinement.

Submitted by Anonymous | August 16 2009 |

Unbelievable! What is wrong with KCACC? That dog belongs in rescue. What is the point of making the dog suffer? He's already suffered enough. I agree that community service in an animal shelter should be part of their sentence, but then maybe they do not deserve the chance to meet and care for these wonderful animals.

Submitted by Anonymous | August 17 2009 |

Even rescue groups don't take in dogs that have already bitten and broken skin.
This poor dog is beyond that.

Submitted by Lorna McAllister | August 17 2009 |

There are some animal rescues that do take dogs who have. Scottish Great Dane Rescue, German Shepherd rescue here have rehabilitated and rehomed dogs who have a history of biting. It is not only Scotland who have a more concerned attitude to dogs.

Cesar Milan in the US has done too.

People are the problem!

Submitted by Rae | August 13 2009 |

I would like to know who to contact at this shelter or I would love an update. This dog needs to be helped, we cannot stand by .

Submitted by Lisa Wogan | August 13 2009 |

Probably the best folks to contact are the KCACC shelter, the King County Council and the King County Executive Kurt Triplett, and the organization mentioned above, KCACC Exposed. -- Lisa

Submitted by Chris | August 14 2009 |

This is backwards. The kids who tormented him should be sitting in that cold and lonely cell! The dog was taught this behavior by these terrible human beings. He was taught how to "snap". I'm sure the human beings were not taught to do what they did. The CHOSE to do that. There is the difference!!!

Submitted by Inês | August 14 2009 |

So, instead of punishing these awful kids, they are further punishing the dog who already had to suffer abuse at their hands for god knows how long...?! Unbelievable.

Submitted by Anonymous | August 16 2009 |

What is going on here?it is not the damn dogs fault he has no idea what is happening,they treat murders better then this.This poor guy needs to get out run be happy he has no idea what he has done,Humans are just horrible and i am totally disgusted about this inhumane treatment against animals

Submitted by Blythe | August 17 2009 |

While I am not defending the actions of the kids, as a teacher I inevetibly wonder what kind of abuse they suffered to make them do what they did. That kind of behavior is learned, it's not a choice. Where are the parents in all of this? Has any responsibility been placed on them? It's tragic that when we don't know what to do, we blame it all on the animal who can't speak for itself. It appears that we still need tighter laws in place to protect our animals, and keep this kind of abuse (and it is abuse, of both the animal, and justice) from happening.

Submitted by Anonymous | August 17 2009 |

I agree the parents must not have done their part to teach these kids right from wrong. Too bad for the kids. Now it's society's turn. All of those kids should be sentenced with a record.

Submitted by Anonymous | August 17 2009 |

I would like to know why this dog is being treated the way he is?Why is he not interacting with people why is he sleeping on a damn cold floor,i am going to send this article to every single animal group i can think of and see how they like that,this is not the way an animal should be treated.The kids involved did a unthinkable act and the dog is paying the price for the actions of children who IMO were raised horribly,WHY is the dog being treated this way?I wish the women who was attacked would step in for this poor guy,she was a women that put the blame on the children and not the dog.Snap needs you

Submitted by Jackie. | August 17 2009 |

I think it is utterly disgusting this already abused animal is being further abused by the SHELTER homing him. May they hang their heads in shame. I am sharing on my FaceBook homepage so everyone can see just how callous and uncaring this so called SHELTER is.
This dog needs LOVE, COMPASSION, REHABILITATION and a LOVING home NOT further abuse and neglect. I am utterly disgusted by this MORE disgusted than by the initial act of cruelty that placed him there. These people are EDUCATED in animal welfare and KNOW better the kids clearly did not - I am NOT justifying the kids at all rather putting the Shelter in the spotlight for acting in such an appalling way towards this poor dog!!!

Submitted by Anonymous | August 17 2009 |

Why the hell is he tetherd as well What the crap you can see it in the picture underneath him. HE should not be being treated like this not only was the dog innocent, but he is now punished for the teens actions against him. Now he is gonna be scarred and even more scared of people. Who is the owner of this dog,? and why are they not fighting on his behalf Everyday!

Submitted by Anonymous | August 17 2009 |

It's a terrible tragedy all around.
Yes, the kids should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
The dog involved, whether he was taught the behavior or not is still a huge liability.
He should be humanely "put down".
I'm sure this comment will incite the wrath of many Pit owners ... truth is that it is the indiscriminate breeding of these dogs and the owners that have contributed to it's bad reputation.
If you want to rescue ... rescue a Pit that hasn't bitten anyone. Tons of them out there.

Submitted by Anonymous | August 17 2009 |

To all the people up in arms about how poorly the dog is being treated ... then YOU take him home and take care of him.
Oh, that's a different story isn't it

Submitted by Jen | August 17 2009 |

I AM posting this on my Facebook page as well. How can you call yourselves "Animal Care" ??? You need to be held responsible for the way you are treating this dog as well!

Submitted by Anonymous | August 17 2009 |

You clean out the dog's cage ... there is such a thing as safety issues with respect to dogs that have bitten humans.
If you are so concerned make a HUGE donation so that EACH & EVERY dog at all shelters can have a home away from home. Even better pay for ALL dogs to be spayed or neutered. Stop backyard breeders!

Our tax $'s do not even come close to supporting an endless supply of discarded animals.

Again ... get out there and YOU help fix the problem!
Stop complaining ... as though putting this on your Facebook page is really going to help.
Volunteer, donate, rescue and foster will have a more immediate impact than getting a bunch of people all riled up.
Get those people to HELP not hinder ... then you will see results.

And exactly what are you going to achieve by posting of Facebook? Will your complaints about the pitiful accommodations at shelters actually make any more room or things better?

WE so called HUMANS created the mess. In a perfect world we wouldn't need Shelters, because everyone would take care of and be responsible for their own.

Submitted by deb | August 21 2009 |

Go out help animals,donate so on and so on,wth do you think we are doing,we are not just coming here to complain geez you are the one complaining.Get the dog out of there he is not the one at fault here this is just so stupid and to assume that people here are just doing nothing but complaining and doing nothing to help animals that is your assumption and we all know what happens when 1 assumes.I have gone out of my way with what little means i have to do my part in helping every single animal i can be it through a rescue or to just hanging fliers for an event to raise money for a rescue.If i had a ton of money i be getting me a hot shot attorney and i be getting that dog some justice,the parents of these kids need to go back to parenting class or hey how bout have the kids taken away because obviously they have to morals or values it shows in the kids they have raised.This poor dog did nothing to anyone to deserve this kind of inhumane treatment.he is probably ..well was probably a sweety now being locked up with no human contact he is for sure going to be aggressive any animal or human would be.If you think that all these volunteers at animal shelters and in rescues are here on this story to just complain you are sadly mistaken

Submitted by Rita | August 17 2009 |

I volunteer at this shelter and Snaps is not being tethered, beaten, or abused. Yes he is in being kept in a dog run by himself. He is very agressive and it is very dangerous to handle him. The officers at KCACC are a very caring group of animal lovers. They can not send Snaps to a rescue group until he is released by the judge, he is considered "evidence" by the court. The staff of the County run shelter is bound by county law. Snaps is a very abused dog - the people who did this to him deserve more punishement that probably will get.

Submitted by Anonymous | August 17 2009 |

Thank you Rita!

Submitted by Anonymous | August 17 2009 |

According to KCACC Exposed? Are you kidding me? How about exposing the exposers, which is a money grabbing attempt to try to gain a contract from the county for animal control. Looks like with the current budget crisis, they will succeed and I betcha anything they are getting way more than they bargained for. In any case, I wonder if any one of them volunteered to go in and luv on this poor abused and confused dog that may very well be quite dangerous.

Submitted by amy | August 21 2009 |

To the person that said to take the dog home if i was so concerned about him.I would and i bet he would be the perfect dog after i was done with him and i would then smear it in everyones face who doubted him.This is just very uncalled for as does the mindless ranting.stop for a min think about it,did you think...ahh put him down he is not worth it?if you did then it is a very sad day for you.You are no better then the ones that made him this way.there is no hope for him?there is no hope for you.This is your stance on life,if it isent worth it get rid of it right?On a happy note..i am so glad i am the person i am today..if i let the people who thought i wasn't worth it give up on me i would be a different person.but because i someone said i was WORTH IT i am the kind loving women i am today.You never give up.how can you do that do anything i just don't understand the reasoning here.and to the person who said they worked at the shelter he is at,do you think by him not getting any interaction with people is helping him,i can see from that pic that he is just scared and very very confused.i don't think a dog that has been raised around children is going to be a mean dog.sorry i am not buying the he is an aggressive dog card.The kids told him to go after that women plain and simple.And to the person whining about her tax$ you have got to be kidding me right.yea i see where all seattle's tax$ is going

Submitted by Diana | August 26 2009 |

ALL of the teens involved should be treated to the conditions this poor animal finds himself in. Unfortunately, some bleeding heart attorny will say that the teens were just blowing off steam, doing what teens do, abused themselves and it goes on and on. Time for children, teens and adults to own up to their own sins and take the punishment. And for the person below who says she works at this shelter and he is fine, shame on you. If you are afraid to handle him and I don't blame you, talk softly to him outside of the cage door, push in a rug, toys, treats. Treat him as you would want to be treated. Have some COMPASSION, this is a living creature who feels sorrow, pain, confusion, everything you would feel in his position. In order words, be the bigger person here and show him some kindness.

Submitted by Sarahkate | August 28 2009 |

I am so sick and disgusted about excuses being made for every darn lawbreaker under the sun - excuses for age, excuses for other nationalities who are here illegally, excuses if they "drank" and excuses if they did drugs and didn't know what they were doing. It goes on and on and on ad nauseum and the reality of it is twofold - first, it is the animals who are bearing the suffering and it is the taxpayers who are funding the millions upon millions of excuses for bad, evil behavior. In my neighborhood there is a group of another country's nationals not legally in this country who are training pits for fighting, TRAINING A STALLION FOR HORSE FIGHTS, and raising fighting cocks. Do any of you think Animal Control or the local Sheriff will do anything about those people? NO - because those people are in a group that if "punished" or even investigated, the investigators and punishers would be labeled "racist". Another example, a local teen who BEAT A PUPPY TO DEATH and was only (yesterday) finally given his sentence, a mere 10 days in jail and "some supervised probation." Why? Because he's "only a teen." Do local prosecutors and judges know that violence against animals leads directly to violence against other humans? Of COURSE they do because they've been well educated about that fact by local animal lovers - but that "education" doesn't make them actually CARE about animals.

And when we see someone like Vick WINNING in the end and paying only lip service for his horrific crimes against animals - winning meaning he said what he had to say to get a job making beaucoup bucks - the kids and teens and young adults who see him glamorized and paid extravagantly take it to heart just like the teens in the Seattle case using a pit for violence against someone else, and the kid here locally who beat the puppy to death.

The big message is: animal cruelty must be okay because it is institutionalized (e.g. by King County in its care of this poor dog who if he really is THAT bad should be gently laid to rest to end his suffering) and it is glamorized (such as the Vick situation) and worst of all because THERE ARE NO CONSEQUENCES. You can go free and escape punishment IF you are "protected" - protected meaning that no one is willing to step up and make the punishment fit the crime because they themselves will be set upon for doing so.

And I would believe anyone who points out King County's dog shelter as inhumane I don't care WHAT their agenda is because I lived in King County for 40 years and how law enforcement and county agencies treat animals is not only completely uncaring but sometimes murderous. I can't imagine it has changed much since I moved to another state because the same people are in charge and you know what? They just do not care about animals. Wrong people to be in charge. And from years of watching the King County judicial system's reaction to animal related cases I don't think you will ever see justice for the animals in any case whatsoever. They don't understand animals, they don't care about animals.

Submitted by Anonymous | September 21 2009 |

Snaps has been rescued and has a good home now:

I wish that the teens who abuused him would be confined to a kennel for eternity!

Submitted by Hannah Rose Ber... | September 23 2013 |

I can't believe this! Those drunks attacked the DOG! Not the other way around! He was just defending himself! I bet he was terrified and jumped at those people because he thought they were going to hurt him too! I bet that girl who got arrested is living in better conditions than this poor soul. I hate reading this stuff, because it's just not fair. Someone has to do something. And I plan to. I didn't even know these places still existed! It makes me sick. "Sigh" this is truly disgusting.

Submitted by Hannah Rose Ber... | September 23 2013 |

Hey! They released him! Like 4 years ago! Yes! Happy ending after all!

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