SCHILDS TO APPEAR BEFORE FREEMAN CITY COUNCIL
JEREMY WALTNER – PUBLISHER
The Freeman City Council is expected to hear next week from Dawson Schild and his mother, Denise, as to why their pit bulls who attacked a Freeman resident earlier this month should not be destroyed. The Schilds are on the city’s agenda for Tuesday, July 5 at 6:30 p.m.
That’s the latest from Freeman City Attorney Mike Fink, who said that was the understanding as explained by Circuit Court Judge Pat Smith at a hearing in Olivet Monday morning, June 27. The Schilds, who were both represented by a court-appointed attorney, made their initial court appearance two weeks after four of their dogs attacked and injured a 55-year-old woman out for her morning walk.
When there is a dog attack, Fink said, “the city ordinance assumes the dog(s) be put down. The burden goes to the dog owners to convince the city council why (the dogs) should not be put to sleep.”
Neither Dawson nor Denise entered a plea on Monday as to the misdemeanor charges they are facing: four local counts of dogs running at large and one count of disturbuting the peace for both and one state count of obstruction of a police officer for Dawson — the most serious of the charges. They are scheduled to appear in front of Smith again on July 25, the next time the judge is in Olivet.
As for the public hearing at the city council’s meeting next Tuesday, Fink said the Schilds will need to convince the council that the dogs should either find haven at a sanctuary/animal rescue facility or move into another jurisdiction allowed by either a city municipality or county commission.
If the council denies that request, Fink said the Schilds may appeal it before the judge at the July 25 court hearing.
Fink also noted that next week’s hearing at the city council meeting is open to the public, and there will be a time when the larger public may speak to the issue.