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.”


One Comment

  1. Tyler Young says:

    A Paypal account should be setup to solicite donations

  2. Shawn Thomas says:

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

    1. Marian says:

      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.

      1. Tandra Bartels Stephenson says:

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

  3. Marian says:

    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!!

  4. Tyler says:

    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.

    1. Marian says:

      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

      1. Tandra Bartels Stephenson says:

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

  5. Tyler says:

    For those that want to help, go to this link:

  6. Melissa says:

    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?

  7. Tandra Bartels Stephenson says:

    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.

  8. Tyler says:

    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.

  9. Jessica says:

    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!

  10. Susie says:

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

  11. Jessica says:

    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!!

    1. Holly says:

      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!

  12. markus says:

    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

  13. ashley says:

    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?!?

  14. Julie says:

    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.

  15. keith says:

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

  16. Melissa says:

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

  17. Tammy says:

    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 @ Serious inquiries only.

    1. Deborah says:

      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,

  18. Tammy says:

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

  19. Stacy says:

    More about how to donate:

    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.

  20. Holly says:

    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!

  21. Toni says:

    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.

  22. Kim says:

    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

  23. Edgar Duarte says:

    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

  24. Stephanie says:

    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!

  25. michaela says:

    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?

  26. bmic says:

    11/16/10, Mimi is still in the shelter even after Steven went to pay for all of the fees and complied with all the city regulations..why?? Mimi is now severely underweight & the city will not release her! The treatment of an American War Hero and his dog by the city of FW is appalling. Channel 11 & 33, please do a follow up interview with the City of FW!

  27. Jessica says:

    Bmic: how did you find out she is still there? I’ll be emailing CBS news right NOW! And calling that shelter. I’m appalled and so angry!

  28. Carol says:

    There is an update at It sounds like Ft. Worth is being very vindictive.

  29. BMIC says:


  30. Give me a break says:

    I would just like to say that what is NOT in this article is that a man was permantly harmed from this dog! There is no mention about how he was mauled and now has permanent nerve damage to his hand. The City of Fort Worth is doing its job to protect its citizens!

    1. Patti M Socal says:

      This guy’s dog was not even in Ft Worth when that attack happened. The neighbor said “a pit bull” and then AC went door to door looking for pit bulls. The neighbor (an 87 yr old man) said no, it wasn’t Mimi. Then AC kept telling him, it had to be. So he said OK. That is coercion and now Mimi’s life is in danger.

  31. BMIC says:

    Thank you for the update Patti M…that is exactly what I was about to write back.
    Things are looking better this am –due to all of the phone calls and emails FW has been receiving about Steven and Mimi…to read updates, go to

  32. BMIC says:

    Good news! Mimi is scheduled to be released today @ 1p to Steven Woods..several local news outlets will be there to report the reunion.
    Cross your fingers all goes well!

    1. Holly says:


  33. Animal lover says:

    Great update! “Mimi will be freed today at 1 p.m! “Steven will pick up his “little girl” at the Humane Society of North Texas at 1840 E. Lancaster in Fort Worth. Fox 4 News, KDAF Channel 33, and CBS Channel 11 will be there and you can watch Steven and Mimi’s reunion on the news tonight. Watch the tube, it ought to be a touching moment :o). Thank you all for posting the plea to your life line.

    1. Holly says:

      That is great but haven’t seen any news on it. Just want to make sure he has his baby back so she cab gain some weight and be back with her daddy!

  34. BMIC says:

    Mimi and Steven have been reunited! has the update from Steven’s (God bless him for all of his pro bono hard work) lawyer! I saw a small news item last night on Channel 11–very touching!

  35. cheryl says:

    It is dispicable how our veterans are treated! i’m fighting legislature now… tired of ruling “breed specific”……you can train a retreiver to attack and bite….my vet says number one bite if from chihuahuas…my pit is 4 years old and i cant tell you how many people have wanted me to give her to them..everyone loves her….even people bitten before and sacared, gave her a chance and she licked them as they pet her, relieving their long time fear..judges should lock up pit fighters & honor veterans

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