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Veteran Fearful Of City Putting His Dog To Sleep

By Jane Slater, CBS 11 News

FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) –Iraq War veteran Steven Woods said he has his 4-year-old pitbull Mimi to thank for helping him cope with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Woods said he was on a mission from Tikrit to Baghdad when an improvised explosive device detonated and ejected him from his vehicle.

“I am depressed, chronic back pain, anxiety,” Woods said.

Aside from drugs like hydrocodone and diazepam, Woods said Mimi was a form of stress relief that helped him deal with other people. But four weeks ago, Mimi was taken away by the city of Fort Worth.

He said a neighbor accused Mimi of biting him in July.

On Veteran’s Day, a two-day court battle ended with a judge labeling Mimi a “dangerous dog.”

A judge gave Woods 15 days to pay a $500 dangerous dog registration fee, the impounding fees of $12 a day for six weeks, the cost to neuter Mimi, build a six foot fence and purchase a $100,000 liability insurance policy. If he doesn’t come up with the money, Woods said the dog will be put down.

“I only get $779 in disability benefits,” Woods said.

Woods has secured Tarrant County attorney Randy Turner to help with the case on a pro-bono basis.

Turner said it was unfortunate he couldn’t help Woods out in court, but thinks the city could help him out with the financial hardship.

“It seems to me that would be a small thing for the city to do in recognition of what this man has done for his country,” Turner said.

CBS 11 contacted the city and they said they would be able to help Woods work off the cost of impoundment and a grant through the city could help cover the cost of neutering.

They said they would not, however, waive the cost of the dangerous dog registration fee. The dog would still be subject to quarterly check-ins.

“I don’t want my dog to die,” Turner said. “I really don’t.”

  • Tyler Young

    A Paypal account should be setup to solicite donations

  • Shawn Thomas

    I want to start the Save Mimi fund to help a brother veteran in need..

    • Marian

      we should find out which shelter he is at, and us local citizens should offer our time to work off the community hours for the man to help defray the daily impound fee, or better yet they should just waive the darn fee! This is driving me insane to think that this man who put his life on the line has to now put up with this idiotic charge.

      • Tandra Bartels Stephenson

        I would be willing to do some of his community service if they even consider this with all of the response he is getting.

  • Marian

    I don’t see why the television station who aired this story can’t pick up the tab for this veteran. My husband is also a vet who suffers from the same disability and his dogs are sometimes what keeps him going from day to day. Wake up America and let’s get this veteran is dog back, it is the least we can do for someone that went and put his life on the line for us, why does his dog’s life have to be on the line now!! Let us pull together to make it so that this dog can go home to his owner!!

  • Tyler

    Shawn, we just need to Steven to setup a Paypal account and he can give updates on what he has received via paypal and how much more he needs on this message board.

    • Marian

      I think that if we set up an account it needs to go directly to the shelter so that we can ensure that the money is being spent on what it is supposed to be spent on. Or we could have his attorney set up a trust account and then the money can be deposited in there and that way the attorney can be in charge of dispersing the funds appropriately

      • Tandra Bartels Stephenson

        I am sure there has to be a way that CBS could set up the account to ensure all funds are spent appropriately.

  • Tyler

    For those that want to help, go to this link: http://www.readlarrypowell.typepad.com/

  • Melissa

    I will help in any way possible. This is rediculous and the dog and the man dont deserve this. I will donate money and do any community service. How do we contact anyone about this?

  • Tandra Bartels Stephenson

    I agree with Tyler. In addition we need direct contact emails to petition against destroying his dog. This is a sad way to treat a veteran. I know it goes on all of the time but this touches home as I am an avid dog lover and know I would be devastated if something happened to my baby.
    Come on guys, have a heart. I am sure there are hundreds of others that would be willing to donate as I am.

  • Tyler

    Sorry to keep posting, I just found a direct way to help Steven and Mimi and I think we all want to get this done for him, go to this link directly and you can donate to bail out Mimi. http://www.prestodonate.com/cgi-bin/order.pl?ref=maeleska&fm=1

  • Jessica

    I don’t care who picks up the tab for saving this veteran’s doggie, but by golly someone better do it! CBS, or someone PLEASE let us know how/where to donate!

    Mimi is imperative for Steven’s health. He sacrificed SOOO much for us! We MUST give back to him…we will never be able to thank him enough for his sacrifices and what he continues to endure, but we SURE AS HELL can save his dog!

    Thank YOU, Mr. Woods for your service and sacrifice!

  • Susie

    WE don’t have a lot of extra $$ but please don’t put the dog down yet!!!! Let those who want help!!!!

  • Jessica

    Thank you, Tyler, for finding this link for us all! I really appreciate it! What a blessing!!!

    We’ve got to take care of our veterans!!

    • Holly

      Didn’t mean to hit report comment! Wanted to say that I’m don’t have a lot of money but had $100.00 extra this month and wanted to help Mimi and her dad get back together, I really would like to have a way to find out the progress if anyone knows how to do that. Hold on Mimi, were gonna get you back home sweetie!

  • markus

    Leave the man alone and give him his dog back I’m sure the person who supposedly got bit didn’t do anything!!!!!. He served his country and diserves something to make him happy. I’m a military veteran and know my two Rottweilers are my pride and joy. Its just another way for a certain group of people to earn extra money to help thereself

  • ashley

    This is absolutely disgusting!!! As the proud owner of 2 adult Rottweilers and 6 puppies, I am also worried that someone will use my babies breed against them in their future. Tell me this would this be a concern if it was a lab retriever or small breed!?! No!!!! So how about this let’s get this gentleman his baby back, and get rid of the rediculous rule that he has to regester this dog 4 dog 4 times a year!!! This is a DOG not a sex offender!!! Seriously is this where our tax money is spent?!?

  • Julie

    Thanks Tyler for the link — Donation has been made !!!

    Thank you Mr. Woods for you’re sacrifice and you’re service to our country. I hope and pray that your beloved Mimi will be back in her Daddy’s loving arms quickly.

  • keith

    More than willing to donate some funds to help a fellow veteran get his dog back. Hope to find out where soon!

  • Melissa

    Donation has been made, hopefully more than enough to get MImi out!

  • Tammy

    My name is Tammy Johnson. I am an RN at the VA and a massage therapist. I will pledge massages to any fencing company who will put up the 6-foot fence necessary for this veteran’s dogs’ return. I will also donate a third of the im[pound fee. Any fencing companies interested in bartering please contact me at irun2bhi @ live.com. Serious inquiries only.

    • Deborah

      Your offer is wonderfully generous Tammy!! God bless you for that and all the earth angels who are helping to right this wrong!! We are posting like crazy on FB about this, so I know all the compassionate animal lovers out there are pulling for this and are anxiously awaiting Mimi and Stevens happy reunion.

      This is what I love most about America when we pull together for the greater good and God bless all of our War hero’s and Veterans for putting their lives on the line for us,

  • Tammy

    Those massages can be redeemed as gift certificates! What great Holiday gifts! Tammy Johnson! See post above

  • Stacy

    More about how to donate: http://www.metroplexanimalcoalition.org/index.html

    Its the same group as the other link, just info about the group so you know where your money is going.

    I hope we can help this Veteran keep Mimi.

  • Holly

    I’m so excited after reading all the comments of those who can donate and those who can’t but do care about this man that risked his life for us to get his dog back. Hope my donation helps!

  • Toni

    Went to donate and it’s closed! Steven’s received enough $$ to get Mimi back. Bless everyone who cares enough to help another human in need. What a beautiful outcome.

  • Kim

    Hello Everyone,
    I contacted Mr. Woods attorney this morning to let him know I will pay his impounding fees and dangerous dog registration fee. I am waiting for a return call. If anyone can point me in the right direction to get the ball rolling or if a paypall account is in place, I can make this happen today. Feel free to contact me via email at kimmcglamery@gmail.com.

  • Edgar Duarte

    My name is Edgar Duarte and Founder of Tribute Bracelets Inc in Dallas TX. If someone can inform me to the location were mimi is, my company will put the money to get her released…..I can be reached at 972 567 7899

  • Stephanie

    Metroplex Animal Coalition started a collection to help pay for everything that Steven needed to pay off and they have received $15,000 in donations for Steven! Randall Turner, Steven’s attorney, has said in an e-mail, “This is enough to build a large enclosure for Mimi, pay all registration fees and veterinary bills for the rest of her life and keep her supplied with the best dog food money can buy. The Humane Society of North Texas and others have offered to spay Mimi for free and a veterinarian has offered to give Mimi lifetime vaccinations and parasite testing.”

    There are still good people in the world. Thank you, God!

  • michaela

    The military does it all the time to their service members…. if you try and live in military housing guess what… all pits, rotts and dobies banned. No matter how long you owned your dog. So if a military family is moved from one military installation to another, even though the dog is already registered at the present installation they cannot live in military housing. Oh, try to rent with a pit, rottie or dobie…. so what choice do they have?

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