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Berkowitz Family Will Euthanize Dog

Mat-Su Animal Care & Regulation Board remain in a deadlock vote.

June 28, 2013|By Caslon Hatch | Channel 2 News

ANCHORAGE, Alaska — It’s a decision no dog owner wants to face, but after Wizard attacked a toddler in May, Musher Jake Berkowitz has dropped his appeal to save his dog’s life.

He’s requested on his kennel’s Facebook page to have Wizard euthanized by the family veterinarian.

In a statement, Berkowitz wrote:

"Due to no indication of releasing Wizard and what we see as inhumane treatment, we cannot continue to allow him to live the way he has at the Mat-Su Animal Control Facility…This is a heartbreaking decision for our entire family at Apex Kennels but one that we as responsible dog owners must make."

(Read Jake Berkowitz's full statement here)

The Berkowitz’s attorney, Myron Angstman said the decision was primarily the family’s due to the fact that there was no end in sight for the case.

“The possibility or likelihood that the case could drag on for months, or perhaps for years with a dog held in a form of custody that we find to be inappropriate, that we find to be for any animal,” Angstman said.

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Wizard broke free of his chain and attacked two-year-old Elin Shuck on May 10at the Berkowitz’s dog yard, repeatedly biting the toddler.

The Mat-Su Animal Care and Regulation Board took up the issue on whether the mother trespassed on the property when she brought her children into the dog yard as well as whether the dogs were provoked by the presence of young children.

But on Monday, the board remained in a deadlock vote to classify Wizard as a level 5, meaning he would have to be euthanized.

The Mat-Su Borough says when a dog inflicts such trauma on a small child with no cause, it is too dangerous to live among the public and that the risk cannot be taken a second time.

“The thing that we accomplished is that we were able to show we believed that the Berkowitz's are faultless in this whole operation and that’s an important product of this process,” Angstman said.

The borough says Wizard was not euthanized Thursday, but will be sometime this week.

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