Tragic turn in case of Dexter, the pardoned pit bull

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Dexter, a four-year-old pit bull, whose family fought hard to save him from being euthanized by the court has died. Although he was pardoned by the Berrien County, Michigan court, he died because of poor judgment on the part of the kennel where he was in boarding.

Dexter’s case started August 23, 2017 while he was in his family’s yard in Niles, Michigan.  On that day, the neighbor inexplicably came into the yard and attempted to untie Dexter and take him into her own yard. The neighbor then filed charges claiming the dog attacked her, her son and her puppy. However, there were no traces of blood or physical signs of a fight.  Despite this lack of evidence, Berrien County District Court Judge Dennis Wiley sentenced the dog to death.

But Dexter’s owner, Donald Schaffer was not going to let his dog be killed without a fight. He enlisted the aide of attorney Celeste Dunn who filed a motion to reconsider.  Attorney Dunn found a lot of falsehoods in the sentencing.  Although the dog was defined as dangerous by law, he could not be put to death based on the Michigan Dangerous Animal Law because he did not kill or seriously hurt a human. Judge Wiley denied the motion to reconsider, so a motion was filed for an appeal hearing which took place in early February.

In the interim, an outpouring of love and support from all over the globe arrived in the form of a petition garnering 4,583 signatures to spare the dog’s life as well as a fundraiser to get him out of the county animal control into a boarding facility where his family could visit him, and he would be given fresh air and exercise. Dexter was moved to the Paws and Claws Kennel in October 2017 where he was a model tenant. The staff loved him and never had any problems with him. They could not understand why he was being deemed aggressive.

On February 8, 2018, Dexter’s case was settled in court in front of a different judge than Judge Wiley.  The decision was to spare his life although he would have a dangerous dog label. Donald Schaffer could not bring his dog home until the neighbors moved or Donald found a new place to live.  That was the stipulation of the settlement. So, Dexter stayed at Paws and Claws Boarding Kennel.  Two weeks before Donald Schaffer and his family were set to move into their new home with their beloved dog, an incident occurred at the kennel that cost this dog his life.

On April 24, 2018, a kennel worker put Dexter into a run next to two boxers that did not get along. The two dogs attacked Dexter, and he retaliated by grabbing one dog by the lip through the fence. The workers hit Dexter with a hammer three times to get him to let go. Now, it was known that these two boxers had given Dexter problems in the past, so why were they placed where they all had access to each other? Also, because of his dangerous dog label, Dexter was supposed to be supervised around other dogs. But because he was deemed dangerous and this incident occurred, he had to be put down.

No matter how you look at it, it’s a tragedy.  Thousands of people supported Donald Schaffer and his fight for his dog; money and time were spent to get Dexter’s death sentence overturned and still the outcome was the same.  Dexter is dead; two weeks before he was to go to his new home. All of this could’ve easily been avoided. The kennel staff knew Dexter could not be around other animals, and if he was, he needed to be supervised, yet these rules were not followed.

Now another pit bull is dead, and a family is heartbroken, never to recover.  R.I.P Dexter. Your suffering is over. Your family fought the good fight for you.

Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. Martin Luther King, Jr.



28 replies
  1. Nadya Rossi says:

    Unforgivable! Dexter was betrayed by stupid, heartless, irresponsible humans. Absolutely unconscionable. Judge Wiley should be recalled!

  2. Adrienne says:

    What type of kennel help/workers are at this facility that they really allowed this to happen? The history of these dogs speak for itself and to hit Dexter with a hammer is beyond the way you take care of these dogs. Now Dexter is dead thanks to the kennel worker(s) and Dexter’s family is devastated by this when they thought they would all have a new life together.

  3. Barkley's Mom says:

    This makes me sick, those irresponsible kennel workers killed poor Dexter. I would be hiring a lawyer and suing the pants off of them! There was no reason for this. My sincere condolences to Mr Schaffer for his loss, all the time and money spent and this is the out come! This is so NOT right!

  4. Pamela Bolton says:

    Incompetent HUMANS , he cause of another innocent animal defending himself. God, I hate HUMANS. I would be apt to file charges of endangerment resulting in the murder of my dog. I would be their worst nightmare. To fight for someone for so long and an idiot human causes his death. Pissed forever.

  5. Laurie simino says:

    How tragic. I know it won’t bring Dexter back but the kennel should be responsible for all the money spent. My condolences to the family. Rest in peace Dexter

  6. Pamela Garlisch says:

    Fire everybody that had anything to do with Dexter in the kennel and the owners have a great lawsuit against the kennel. What kind of people do they hire? Must be stupid ones. RIP Dexter, humanity failed you.

  7. Mary Ann Clark says:

    Dexter should have never been seized! The neighbor should have been arrested! The kennel staff caused this problem and they should do jail time! RIP Dexter! You were a victim of the astronomical amount of crimes humans have committed against animals and all of nature!

  8. Gizmos Mommy says:

    The stupidity of some people astound me. What about the boxers who went after Dexter? They too should be killed. They STARTED it. But in reality, the paragon of stupidity that put all the dogs near each other should be made to answer. Oh wait – you can’t explain why a person is STUPID.

  9. maxiemom says:

    Too bad they couldn’t euthanize that careless and ignorant kennel worker instead, or better yet, the neighbors who caused the problem and are the real villains in the piece.

    This is just wrong.

    Dexter never did deserve to die. Lying neighbors, prejudiced, ignorant judge, and finally a careless kennel worker right before he was to go home. All of it over something that should never have happened.

    RIP, Dexter.

  10. Jeanette says:

    The neighbor had no right to untie Dexter in the first place. The neighbor should have moved, Not Dexter’s owners. Thejudgeisan idiot.

  11. Laurette Giardino says:

    I hope the family sues the kennel and the worker responsible for Dexter’s murder.
    Dexter humans failed you ????????

  12. Julie Enos says:

    And they had to hit Dexter with a hammer? That’s how they break up a dog fight? I would sue them now. Idiots

  13. Bunny Peters says:

    I hope that Dexter’s family sues that kennel into oblivion…… Absolutely disgusting: the kennel’s employees were clearly negligent….. sadly, no amount of money will bring Dexter back, but a huge award WILL send a message that boarding kennels and their employees ARE liable for negligence……..
    RIP Dexter. So very sad that so many humans failed you……

  14. Donna L Hawkins says:

    This is unconcientionable act ! I have to wonder if it was deliberate! Dexter’s life was lost because of people that had no business in his life or handling him! I am so sorry for his family that fought to free him!!

  15. Marianne says:

    Just who is that idiotic neighbor? Have the owner release her name-shame her! I hope that stupid judge loses his job..and money..and ends up homeless. Or the judge ends up in an eternal abyss (Hell) and has eternity to think about what he did.

  16. Denise Moore says:

    Negligence on the judge and the kennel, Mr Schaffer should sue the neighbor, the judge and the kennel as they are the real villains

  17. Nancy Raymond says:

    This whole fiasco is the fault of this piss poor example of a kennel and a worker with the smarts of a frigging doorknob. Dexter did NOTHING wrong – he was the victim of Paws and Claws irresponsibility and a unnamed worker who assaulted this poor dog w/a hammer. Dexter was defending himself from two other dogs in the same run when it was known they did not get along. The family of Dexter was doing everything right and would have had him back in two weeks and due to the negligence of two entities, the boarding facility and a dumbass employee, Dexter was literally murdered. I hope this family sues Paws and Claws right out of business and that idiot worker should be fired – they are both responsible for Dexter being put down – and in addition, this asswipe neighbor who started the whole mess should be included in the lawsuit. I am so sorry Dexter – you deserved MUCH better.

  18. Sheila says:

    A hammer? This is how u break up a dog fight?! Wtf!!!!! Workers not trained and obv dumb as shit! This is just heartbreaking!

  19. Ira Kusumaningrum says:

    I would boycott Paws & Claws kennel, it’s unacceptable what they did to Dexter. I hope they will be out of business. A murderer is a murderer!
    RIP Dexter ????

  20. Kelly Giannetti says:

    Why on earth would the neighbor go into his yard AND untie his dog and try to take him into her yard??? Without the owners’ permission. Was she, perhaps under the influence? Did someone pay her to do that to try and get Dexter for their own sick reasons? Or, did someone along with this idiot female concoct this idea with hopes of suing and getting paid? Then, of course, the incompetent, and biased judge NOT doing his job (being able to see thru b.s.!)! And, 3rdly, the boarding kennel NOT following specific rules!! It’s total common sense, even if they didn’t have specific rules, to NOT put a dog in the run next to a dog who has been causing problems for this dog!! That’s just an incident WAITING to happen! And, then to have THREE of the kennel employees hitting poor Dexter with HAMMERS?! OMG! Are you serious??! Is that the written procedure when 2 dogs get into it??! Go get hammers, everyone, and BEAT the dog with these HAMMERS?! Did you beat him in the head which would have caused neurological damage? How about maybe his backbone which would have paralyzed him? Or, did you all beat him in his legs, breaking his kneecaps, leg, hips? Is that what this kennel teaches it’s employees??! And, you all KNEW the history of what this poor soul had just been thru?! Did someone PAY you to do this? Sounds pretty obvious that this may have been what happened…. how SAD that this sweet dog had to go thru this he’ll becoz of the dumb neighbor chick!! RIP DEXTER! RUN FREE…

  21. Tory says:

    Why is there no info about this “kennel” available? I’d be shutting that place down if that were my dog, not to mention taking a hammer to the staff who used a hammer on my dog.

  22. Sandra Chlubna says:

    Names! Fire the workers, file criminal animal abuse charges, file a civil law suit against the workers and the kennel, publish their names publicly and place them on the nation-wide animal abuser registry.

  23. Red says:

    Did the BIMBO next door neighbor ever get asked what in the hell she came into the yard, untied a pet and attempted taking him for???? All of this poor dogs trouble were due to an idiot woman who had no right to be near him in the first place!! How can anyone condone the courts for allowing this to happen at all??


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