An Effingham County dog’s day in court will have to wait another month.
Kno, a pit bull that has been the ward of Effingham County Animal Control for nearly 11 months, had a hearing to determine his fate pushed back until next month, at the request of its court-appointed attorney, Mickey Kicklighter.
“Mr. Kicklighter had approached the court on behalf of the canine and requested the hearing be continued,” Judge William Woodrum said Wednesday afternoon.
Kicklighter, who is representing Kno on a pro bono basis, said he had hoped to present an order to the judge to have the dog freed from the animal shelter and transferred to the Glen Wild Animal Refuge in New York.
Liz Keller, the founder and director of Glen Wild Animal Rescue, has set up online donations through PayPal to cover the costs of transferring Kno from the Effingham County Animal Shelter to her sanctuary.
“Donations are coming in slow but steady,” said Keller, “and we have received a lot of help, allowing us to cross-post our plea for help for Kno.”
Kno attacked Wesley Frye last July, and the child was severely injured. Frye was taken to Memorial University Medical Center and was treated for several days in the pediatric intensive care unit.
The dog, owned by Larry and Julie Long, has been classified as a dangerous dog and, under a state law that went into effect last year, a court hearing to determine the dog’s fate must be held.
Keller said Kno’s transportation is being worked out. Once the dog arrives at Glen Wild Animal Refuge, he will be given time to adapt to his new surroundings, she added.
“Kno will only be handled by myself and experienced personnel,” she said.
As part of any attempt to transfer Kno from the animal shelter to another owner, the dog cannot be around children and cannot be adopted out again.
“He will have no contact with children or cats,” Keller said. “Kno will be in our sanctuary home at Glen Wild, so there is no possibility for him to come in contact with children. Kno will be able to go out in a large, fenced-in paddock area and will hopefully be able to be matched up with another dog, as dogs do very well when they have a playmate.”
Keller also hopes the saga of Kno can educate others and that something good will come out of it.
“I know his story will help keep other children safe and help to educate parents about how to keep their children safe around dogs,” she said. “I hope that this will work out for all involved. People need to educate themselves on dog behavior and understand what can trigger a dog to bite. We all have a responsibility to keep children safe and not set up dogs for failure.”
Keller also expressed a desire to see local humane enforcement divisions have enough resources so that animal control officers could visit schools and instruct children on safe behavior around dogs.