Service Dog Who Bit Girl is Banned from Town, But Spared Death

 |  Apr 27th 2011  |   37 Contributions

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Ava will no longer be Molly's dog under a settlement agreement reached Tuesday evening (Courtesy photo via

A decision was reached Tuesday evening in the case of Ava, the service dog who is accused of biting the face of a 6-year-old neighbor, causing great injury: Ava is banished from the township of River Dale, N.J., and for now, will be living with friends of her owners.

I wrote about the story last week, so you can check out the details in my Dogster post. In a nutshell, Ava is the 14-month-old service dog of a 9-year-old girl who has had brain cancer for four years. Ava has been trained to help Molly Kimball cope with bouts of dizziness brought on by the tumors in her brain. Ava recently bit the face of a young neighbor girl, causing her to need 100 stitches.

The decision about Ava's future was a settlement between the girls' parents. Because of this, a judge did not have to decide whether or not Ava is dangerous.

The Record reports a sad courtroom scene: "Molly sobbed inconsolably during a hearing in Municipal Court in River Vale on Tuesday as her father stroked her back and her hair," The Record states.

Poor Molly really will be losing a best friend. But she will still be able to visit her if Ava stays with the friends who have promised to watch her for now. And the poor bite victim, Isabelle Gernhardt, is facing a few surgeries over the next couple of years because of the wounds, reports the newspaper. She also has PTSD because of the incident.

It's a sad situation any way you slice it. But at least Ava will not be killed for what she did. Even Isabelle's parents didn't want that. Dogsters, are you happy with this decision? It seems like what many -- but certainly not all -- of you hoped for.


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