Courtesy of the Hollister Police Department:
A dog that was determined dangerous has been released to its owner after a hearing at the Superior Court of San Benito County.
On July 4, the Hollister Police Department and Hollister Police Animal Care and Services were notified of a dog attack in which a five-year-old boy was severely injured after being bitten by a dog. The dog, a brown and white Pit Bull, was immediately taken into custody and held at the Hollister Animal Shelter while an investigation was conducted. The boy was taken to a local hospital for emergency treatment, where he received approximately 12-16 stitches in his leg due to the bite.
Upon further investigation and interviews with witnesses, it was determined that the dog chased another child only minutes before attacking the 5-year-old. As a consequence of the dog bite, the boy endured an infection to his leg and permanent scaring.
On July 23, an administrative hearing was held at the Hollister Police Department to determine the outcome of the dog. A hearing officer determined the dog to be a danger to public safety and ordered the dog to be humanely euthanized. The dog owners contested this determination and a court hearing was scheduled at the Superior Court of San Benito.
On Sept. 13, a hearing was held in which the suspect dog was determined a dangerous dog as defined in Hollister Municipal Code 6.13.020. The court determined that the dog had, unprovoked, attacked twice within several minutes and inflicted severe injury on the boy. However, the court ruled that the dog may be released back to its owner once certain restrictions were met. These restrictions include confinement of the animal to a secure structure or pen, neutering of the animal, liability insurance, and muzzling while on leash.
On Sept. 26, the dangerous dog was released from the custody of Hollister Police Animal Care and Services and returned to his owner on the 1500 block of Highland Drive.
This is an advisory to residents and neighbors to be aware of this potentially dangerous situation. Residents are asked to call Hollister Police Animal Care and Services at 831-636-4320 if the dog pictured above is seen at large.