Niko is a seven year old male pitbull that has been in the Charlottesville-Albemarle SPCA since December of 2015. He was scheduled to be euthanized on December 18, 2016 pursuant to a court order after it was found that Niko had a fatal encounter with a neighbor's cat.
On December 16, 2016, Elliott Harding, Esq. of Harding Counsel, PLLC, filed suit seeking an injunction and declaratory judgment on behalf of Ms. Audrey Wells, one of Niko's co-owners. This case was originally brought in Albemarle County Circuit Court and is now pending before the Virginia Supreme Court.
The case is a due process challenge to Va. Code § 3.2-6540, Virginia's "dangerous dog" statute. Niko has two owners, but only one was ever found to be in violation of the Code that subjects Niko to being euthanized.
Because Ms. Wells has never been tried and convicted of the misdemeanor that authorizes Albemarle County to put Niko down, we argue that she has been denied the requisite due process owed to all owners before their property can be finally destroyed. We believe the euthanization order must be overturned or else it will deny Ms. Wells the due process guaranteed to her by the Fourteenth Amendment of the Constitution.
Ms. Wells & Niko need your help, as the costs of litigation and appeals are adding up. A donation link is coming very soon.
You can also receive updates and follow along with over 14,000 other supporters on Facebook by joining the group "Prayers for Niko/Niko Strong".
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