A 3-year-old male pit bull has been wrongfully deemed dangerous and is sentenced to be euthanized in Lewis County, Chehalis Washington. It all started in April 2016, when the dog, then named Tank, was accused, along with another dog, of killing some goats and injuring a small pony on a neighbor’s farm. He was marked a dangerous dog.
Unfortunately, Tank’s owner at the time did not fulfill obligations under the county’s dangerous dog laws so Tank was seized and placed in the Lewis County Animal Shelter. While there, Danette York, the Director of the Department of Public Health and Social Services, which oversees the shelter, opted to change Tank’s name to Hank and adopt him out to Jann Propp-Estimo in January 2017. No mention was made of the dog’s previous history and the dangerous dog allegations. She based her decision on Hank’s good behavior and felt he was incorrectly declared dangerous.
Hank lived for 5 happy months with Propp-Estimo, her husband, and her grandson Buddy. Then on May 9, 2017 the Lewis County Prosecutors Office found out about Tank/Hank’s “illegal” adoption. They showed up at Propp-Estimo’s door to seize Hank and return him to Lewis County Animal Shelter while a judge decided his fate. On June 7th, 2017 Adam Karp, the attorney representing Jann Propp-Estimo, filed a petition to declassify Hank as a dangerous dog. This also set in motion an amendment to the current county dangerous animal code. This amendment would establish a process that would allow an individual to appeal a dangerous dog declaration. The amendment was passed.
Also, new evidence surfaced in the case at the June 17,2017 hearing. A neighbor/witness stated she never saw Hank attack any of the goats; it was mainly the second dog. The owner of the livestock also stated he didn’t want to press charges because he viewed the incident on a dashcam in his truck which reversed his previous decision about Hank/Tank. He told the Sheriff he did not want to press charges nor did he want Hank/Tank to die.
Despite the approved amendment and the new evidence presented in Hank’s favor, on June 19, Judge Buzzard of the Lewis County District Court in Chehalis, Washington ignored these factors and ordered Hank put to death in 48 hours. That decision was appealed to Judge Edwards of Grays Harbor County Superior Court with the hope of reversing Judge Buzzard’s death sentence. Judge Edward had the power to free Hank and close the case but he didn’t do it. Instead, he chose not to overturn Judge Buzzard’s ruling. On September 25, he signed the order affirming Judge Buzzard’s decision, sentencing Hank to death.
Hank has been granted a stay of execution pending further appeal. Hank has been imprisoned for almost 5 months at the Lewis County Animal Shelter. He is not exercised and only allowed to visit his family through a barrier of chain link and bars. He is being held without cause and without any one pressing charges. This case against Hank is nothing more than a vendetta by the prosecuting attorney and the judge and their irrational desire to see Hank killed. This is wrong, unethical and cruel.
Help Hank get back to his family.
Sign the petition to allow Hank to have visits with his family outside of his cage.
For updates on Hank’s case and to donate toward the mounting legal costs visit the website
Also, follow the case on Hank’s Facebook pages: