Santaquin death row dog case dismissed

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MURRAY, UT (Dec. 14, 2017) --Dog sentenced to death in Santaquin, Utah charges dropped Dec. 14, 2017 


The Humane Society of Utah (HSU) announced that a settlement was reached between Santaquin City and dog owner Lindsy Bray regarding a sentence requiring the Bray family dog, Dexter, a 5-year-old Australian Shepherd, to be euthanized for allegedly biting a 12-year-old girl Oct. 20, 2016. Attorney and President of HSU, Craig S. Cook and Santaquin City attorney, Brett Rich attended a hearing Thursday morning, Dec. 14 before the Honorable Jared Eldridge to finalize an agreement. Bray pleaded guilty to Dexter running at large, not having current rabies shots, and not having a city license tag in exchange for the city dropping the vicious dog charge and court-ordered euthanasia of Dexter.

On Oct. 21, 2017, Cook filed a motion on behalf of Lindsy Bray to dismiss the charges against her, contending that the Santaquin City ordinance violated both state and federal constitutional protections.

“We’re pleased with the agreement,” said Cook. “We are very happy that the Bray family can enjoy the upcoming holidays together as a family and not worry about Dexter being taken from them.”

Santaquin City filed charges against Lindsy Bray January 2017. According to the Oct. 20, 2016 police report, the dog did not "break any skin," but Santaquin's ordinance defines a vicious dog as "a dog that has bitten, clawed, attacked, chased, harassed, pursued or worried a person without provocation."  

Bray contested the charge in the Santaquin Justice Court but was found guilty by the judge. Mandatory euthanasia of Dexter was the only option available to the court under the existing Santaquin City ordinance.  In order to save Dexter from death, Bray filed an appeal to the 4th District Court located in Spanish Fork, Utah.

“We’re so relieved that this nightmare is over,” said Lindsy Bray. “We’ve lived in fear of losing our family member for the past year and can finally relax knowing his life is no longer in danger.”

HSU hopes that the new Santaquin City Council will amend the city ordinance regarding dogs in order to eliminate the necessity of further legal action being taken in 2018.



The Humane Society of Utah submitted proposed amendments to the existing ordinance based on other animal control ordinance language from cities similar in size to Santaquin City. The changes included definitions for a “dangerous dog,” a “vicious dog,” an “attack” and “serious bodily injury.” The proposed ordinance also allowed better protection for the city and working dogs. On Sept. 6, 2017, the Santaquin City Council rejected any changes to the existing ordinance by a vote of three to two in favor of maintain the mandatory death penalty for a “vicious dog.”

Dexter was poisoned in the Bray’s backyard Nov. 1, 2017. The Humane Society of Utah offered a reward of $5,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person responsible. No suspect has been charged at this time.