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Judge issues new ruling saving dogs

A Lincoln County Justice Court judge Tuesday reversed his initial ruling in the county’s first vicious dog case and gave two dogs sentenced to die a second chance.

Judge Joe Portrey last week issued a ruling in the case of Davis v. Smith that two dogs owned by Elton and Caitlyn Smith were responsible for the death of 16 of the 32 rescued cats owned and cared for by Jimmy and Belinda “Dinki” Davis.

In this, the first case to be tried under the Board of Supervisor’s vicious dog ordinance, the judge ruled the dogs were vicious, and must be humanely euthanized. The owners were also assessed fines.

But after studying the law, Portray called the parties back to court this week for clarification.

“Great care must be taken to apply the law properly,” Portrey said. “The order to euthanize the animals in this case is hereby rescinded.”

The fines of about $1,200 were paid last week.