It's been a long and exhausting journey towards freedom for a 2-year-old Belgian Malinois named Jeb and the family that wouldn't stop fighting for him.
According to the Associated Press, over the summer, Jeb—who is a service dog for his owner Kenneth Job of Michigan—was found standing over the body of a neighbor's deceased Pomeranian. "Authorities said the Pomeranian's injuries suggest he was picked up and shaken by a larger animal."
From there, Jeb was taken away by animal control and was sentenced to death, but the Job family wanted to prove that not only was their dog innocent, but that he was never a dangerous pet to begin with.
While Jeb waited in an animal control facility, his family did everything they could, on social media and beyond. Job's daughter, Kandie Morrison—who rescued Jeb from Detroit—began a Facebook page, a GoFundMe page, and a Change.org petition to raise awareness about the treatment Jeb was recieving and to gain support for his case.
As reported by the Detroit Free Press, "District Judge Michael Hulewicz ruled in September that Jeb was a dangerous dog and ordered him to be euthanized." Thankfully, that changed a month later when the judge granted the Job family 30 days to conduct a DNA test on the dog. It was discovered by the University of Florida's Maples Center for Forensic Medicine that Jeb's DNA did not match that found on the deceased Pomeranian.
After Jeb was cleared of the charges, Morrison tells petMD that it still took the family roughly a week to get the service dog back from animal services, and says that he came home emaciated, tired, and aching from sores. Morrison also claims that the family could not see Jeb, or provide him with veterinary care when he was with animal services. "Every civil right we had was denied—we couldn’t see him, he couldn’t have a blanket or a toy," says Morrison.
Under the conditions of Jeb's release via the prosecution, Morrison says they have built a protective fence on their neighbor's property, but they will not adhere to labeling him as a dangerous dog.
"Jeb is good with everyone: children, other animals," Morrison tells petMD. She explains that Jeb helps her father, a veteran who suffers from auto-immune diseases. "If he falls down, Jeb will come stand by him and he can use Jeb to get up."
Morrison says that since Jeb has returned home, her father doesn't let the dog out of his sight. She also says that she is appreciative of the support they've recieved on social media—from monetary donations for Jeb's care to signatures to ensure his freedom. "It was a long fight."
Image via @FreeJeb Facebook