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DNA Clears Service Dog of Guilt for Another Canine's Death

By Aly Semigran    November 07, 2016 / (4) comments

It's been a long and exhausting journey towards freedom for a 2-year-old Belgian Malinois named Jeb and the family that wouldn't stop fighting for him. 


According to the Associated Press, over the summer, Jeb—who is a service dog for his owner Kenneth Job of Michigan—was found standing over the body of a neighbor's deceased Pomeranian. "Authorities said the Pomeranian's injuries suggest he was picked up and shaken by a larger animal." 


From there, Jeb was taken away by animal control and was sentenced to death, but the Job family wanted to prove that not only was their dog innocent, but that he was never a dangerous pet to begin with. 


While Jeb waited in an animal control facility, his family did everything they could, on social media and beyond. Job's daughter, Kandie Morrison—who rescued Jeb from Detroit—began a Facebook page, a GoFundMe page, and a Change.org petition to raise awareness about the treatment Jeb was recieving and to gain support for his case. 


As reported by the Detroit Free Press, "District Judge Michael Hulewicz ruled in September that Jeb was a dangerous dog and ordered him to be euthanized." Thankfully, that changed a month later when the judge granted the Job family 30 days to conduct a DNA test on the dog. It was discovered by the University of Florida's Maples Center for Forensic Medicine that Jeb's DNA did not match that found on the deceased Pomeranian. 


After Jeb was cleared of the charges, Morrison tells petMD that it still took the family roughly a week to get the service dog back from animal services, and says that he came home emaciated, tired, and aching from sores. Morrison also claims that the family could not see Jeb, or provide him with veterinary care when he was with animal services. "Every civil right we had was denied—we couldn’t see him, he couldn’t have a blanket or a toy," says Morrison. 


Under the conditions of Jeb's release via the prosecution, Morrison says they have built a protective fence on their neighbor's property, but they will not adhere to labeling him as a dangerous dog. 


"Jeb is good with everyone: children, other animals," Morrison tells petMD. She explains that Jeb helps her father, a veteran who suffers from auto-immune diseases. "If he falls down, Jeb will come stand by him and he can use Jeb to get up." 


Morrison says that since Jeb has returned home, her father doesn't let the dog out of his sight. She also says that she is appreciative of the support they've recieved on social media—from monetary donations for Jeb's care to signatures to ensure his freedom. "It was a long fight." 


Image via @FreeJeb Facebook  

Comments  4

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  • Jeb is Free
    11/17/2016 03:07pm

    St. Clair Animal Control in Port Huron MI should be held accountable for the starving of this dog. He was emancipated and had sores from sleeping on the ground with no bed or blankets. As a tax paying citizen in St. Clair County I find this unacceptable and disheartening. We need change. All animals deserve to be treated humanely and our elected officials who run this shelter should be held accountable for this abuse.

  • 11/18/2016 12:57am

    Jeb needed to be emancipated, in fact he shouldn't have been held captive in the first place. His starvation, (emaciation), needs to be looked into and punished though.

  • Protector not Dangerous
    11/17/2016 03:10pm

    I can't help but wonder if Jeb was actually standing over the neighbor's dog in an attempt to protect him/her. There are stories of dogs standing over the body of deer and other animals - offering "protection" until help arrives.

    I'm so glad that the Jobs' were able to free their dog. May you live a happy, long life together!

  • We need changes for Jeb
    11/21/2016 03:50am

    Although Jeb is now healing at home, our journey needs to continue...we need to make changes at the Animal Control where Jeb was. We need animal loving staff, staff that care, medical care for the wounded and ill animals, a clean environment...we need a Director who cares. There is a group trying to make changes, and it will be an uphill journey. This group wants the animals to be loved and cared for...how hard is that? The stories coming from residents of the county, are heartbreaking. We are asking for a Director and funds to change this place...to get in staff that care. Please follow our group (Jeb is our poster dog, and Hope, our poster cat .... another sad story coming out of that Animal Control) and help us to make the changes we need...the changes for the betterment of the animals..not what Animal Control wants