Nigel’s Case of Feline Calicivirus
I adopted an adorable little grey/white tabby named "Nigel" in…
Does he look vicious to you? This 10 year old miniature dachshund did to Lafayette, CO officials who cited him as such, a legal designation that typically leads to the “kenneling” or destruction of dogs who are deemed to be a danger to the community! During an unusually high-stress visit to the Vet, little Spork, apparently in a state of extreme agitation and fear caused by a chaotic environment, bit a vet tech in the face when she leaned in to greet him.
While Colorado state law prevents bites involving veterinary professionals from being considered toward vicious dog status, interestingly Lafayette city statute does not. The vet tech was so traumatized by the bite (multiple plastic surgeries, having lost chunks of her lips) that she felt it was necessary to pursue this designation for Spork in order to protect the community. Spork’s owners, the Walker family, were shocked to receive the citation.
Soon after, local media picked up the story and put the spotlight on Jasper Animal Hospital in Lafayette. The result was an immediate perception of a poor, persecuted pooch. Inevitably, the tale found its way to the internet and quickly went viral. People were lighting up comment posts, enraged that the hospital had apparently, in retaliation, targeted Spork for a cruel fate, while others argued that the Vet tech had suffered more than enough.
As the battle raged, the Walkers began their own campaign to save Spork using the sheer power of social media. They needed a way to show the courts that their community supported Spork, and they certainly found one as their facebook group, Save Spork grew to over 25,000 members strong! The support seemed overwhelmingly in their favor. And the judge did not turn a blind eye to this pouring out of support. The ruling was made, after much legal sparring on both sides, that with six months good behavior (no more biting), Spork’s name would be cleared. ‘Atta boy, Spork!
But what do you think? Was the vet tech justified in seeking this designation for Spork? Did Spork do anything wrong? For more on the story, visit this local article that includes an interview with the vet tech. You might change your mind!