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Judge Awards Damages To Dog Put Out Of Business

Kris Kendig’s dog survived a bloody battle with a neighbor’s pit bull, but Goliath will never be the same.

Last week, a Spokane judge decided one bite deserves another, hammering the pit bull’s owner for $2,000 in damages after learning that injuries to Goliath, an English mastiff, leave him unable to perform stud service.

Kendig, a West Plains resident, came to small claims court seeking $2,300 for vet’s bills and lost earnings.

District Court Judge Richard White settled on $2,000, ruling that neighbor James Kitner wrongly permitted the pit bull to attack Goliath on Kitner’s property.

Kitner, an unemployed construction worker, said the pit bull belonged to his brother, Alan.

But he acknowledged his brother often left the dog in his care, and the pit bull left his yard the day it attacked Kendig’s 220-pound pet.

“The pictures (Kendig) produced showed how bad the attack was,” White said afterward. “The area attacked (by the pit bull) looked like hamburger.”

Kendig showed White her receipt for a $500 deposit from a Spokane woman who wanted Goliath to impregnate her female mastiff later this year. She had to return the money because of the injuries.

Kendig, a Spokane Community College student, brought to court a letter from a veterinarian stating that Goliath can no longer provide stud service.

Kitner said he’s not sure if he’ll pay the award. “I’m not working now. I’m renting, so I don’t have the money,” he said.

He also said he’s not happy with White’s decision that he’s legally his brother’s dog’s keeper in cases like this.

“I don’t think justice was done here.

And for that much money, I ought to end up with the dog,” Kitner complained.

He also said the damage has gone both ways. “That dog of hers has been down here a few times, and I’m sure it’s the one that got one of my chickens.”

Kendig said she’s raised dogs for more than 20 years, but Goliath is her first English mastiff.

She and her boyfriend, Tom Sutherland, bought Goliath when he was a pup five years ago.

They chose a mastiff because of its size and unusually gentle nature, she said.

“He’s really more a lover than a fighter,” Kendig said. “My son, T.J., gets on him and rides him like a horse.”

A registered pure-bred English mastiff can fetch from $900 to $2,000 in some parts of the country, according to the American Kennel Club, the association that monitors canine breeding.

The veterinarian also told Kendig that Goliath’s breeding days aren’t entirely over. Artificial insemination is still an option, but the process would cost her at least $125 per session. Insemination can also take more than one session, veterinarians point out.

Kitner has 30 days to either pay the award or appeal the judgment. If he does nothing, Kendig can file a lien on any property he owns or seek garnishment of future wages, White said.

“I really doubt we’ll see any of it,” Kendig said. “This is the second attack by his dog on Goliath. I just want it to stop.”

, DataTimes ILLUSTRATION: Color photo



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