Dog that attacked Port Angeles boy won’t be euthanized

PORT ANGELES — Jack, a family dog that mauled an 11-year-old boy last month, has been spared the death penalty.

The 50-pound Labrador retriever mix, which bit the Port Angeles boy on his face, hands and arms on Feb. 3 in an unprovoked attack, is living at Olympic Animal Sanctuary in Forks, Port Angeles Police Chief Terry Gallagher said Monday.

“It’s a place that specializes in caring for dogs such as Jack,” Gallagher said.

“He will be able to live as comfortably as normal dogs live.”

He is not in danger of being put down or anything like that, which I thought was a great resolution.”

When animal sanctuary Director Steve Markwell took in Jack about three weeks ago from the Olympic Peninsula Humane Society animal shelter in Port Angeles, where the dog had been quarantined, “he flinched a lot,” Markwell said Monday.

“You can tell he’s been pretty badly abused,” Markwell added.

“He acted as though he was going to be hit if I made any kind of movement or anything.”

Jack is one of 80 dogs at the sanctuary.

“He’s a really sweet dog, really good with people,” Markwell said. “I don’t have any issues with him.”

The dog’s owner and boy’s father, Matthew B. Sims, is serving three months in Clallam County jail for dangerous dog attack and possession of a stolen vehicle in connection with the attack.

Sims, 38, of Port Angeles, allegedly left the boy alone to steal a motorcycle, police said.

He entered an Alford plea on March 10 in connection with the dog attack and the theft.

Under the plea, he did not admit guilt but conceded that a jury would likely convict him.

In addition, Sims is fighting extradition to Alaska on warrants involving investigations of fraud and theft, Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Ann Lundwall said Monday.

The boy’s mother was not living with her son and the boy’s father, who had legal custody.

The boy was treated for his injuries at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle and placed in foster care under the supervision of Child Protective Services.

After the attack, police declared Jack — who had also attacked a person in Alaska — dangerous, meaning he cannot have contact with children.

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Senior Staff Writer Paul Gottlieb can be reached at 360-417-3536 or at paul.gottlieb@peninsuladailynews.com.

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