03/08/ Last week, Plymouth Police Officer Derek Workman arrested 46 year old Todd Wagoner on a warrant for harboring a non-immunized dog and cruelty to an animal with a prior charge. At that same time Wagoner’s dog, Shyrtkee, a wolf-dog hybrid was transported to the Marshall County Humane Society for a mandatory 10 day court ordered quarantine.
The court order was due to a dog bite report that stated, Mr. Wagoner went to 1535 North Michigan Street, Millea’s Liquor Store on February 27th at approximately 9:49 a.m. and made a purchase. As the clerk opened the door to hand him his merchandise and change his dog lunged biting her on the arm. She did not need medical treatment although a report was completed and sent to the Prosecutor’s Office.
On Tuesday, March 6th the case came before the court for a hearing on the “Complaint for Injunction and Damages.” Senior Judge Steven King heard the case in which it was noted that under Indiana Code a Wolf-dog hybrid is classified as a “wild mammal.” Testimony stated that the clerk was bitten on the hand without provocation. Although she did not need medical attention, and cleaned the wound, the hand has since become infected and the victim is under a doctor’s care and taking antibiotics.
At issue was whether Shyrtkee is capable of transmitting rabies, a disease commonly fatal to humans. Indiana Code states that any potentially wild mammal that has bitten a human…shall not be placed under observation, but shall be humanely killed at once.
Mr. Wagoner testified that he has in the past administered rabies vaccines to Shyrtkee but conceded that the animal was due for another vaccine in October 2011. He maintains that inasmuch as Shyrtkee is his constant companion and that there is no way the animal could have contracted rabies.
The determination of the court is not whether the wolf-dog is a “vicious” animal or any question of fault on the part of Todd Wagoner.
Judge Steven King ordered that the Marshall County Health Department be authorized and ordered to immediately fulfill its obligations as defined by Indiana Code to humanely kill the animal and send a portion of it to the Indiana State Department of Health within 48 hours.
Mr. Wagoner remains in the Marshall County Jail on a bond set at $2,000 cash.