The campaign to Save Kim, a Jack Russell terrier who bit a passerby in Co Roscommon earlier this year, has come to a positive conclusion after Judge Karen Fergus granted a stay on the dog's destruction order this week.
Donal Rogers, the 84-year-old retired Garda who owns Kim, has been ordered to put dog control measures in place for the stay to become permanent, Gript.ie reports.
Rogers has also been ordered to pay the woman who was bitten €5,000, along with the woman's costs of about €1,500.
Judge Fergus indicated in court this week that if Rogers can satisfy the orders put to him within four weeks, then the order to destroy Kim will be permanently stayed.
“We agree entirely with what the judge is saying and are thankful that she has given our client the opportunity to fulfill the conditions set out in her decision,” Solicitor Kieran Friel of McHale Muldoon solicitors, who is representing Rogers, told the Irish Mirror.
“I am very happy,” Rogers told the Sunday World.
He acknowledged, however: “It’s not over, it has to be dealt with again. It’s coming up for mention again.
“I presume the stay will be extended, provided of course that the court order is complied with, which I intend to comply with.
“I have been advised not to comment on the order or anything like that. It’s a major turn of events when there was a stay put on the down decision.”
Rogers previously told Gript.ie how one morning in March, his dog Kim, who has no history of biting, was laying in front of his secluded house when a group of strangers came down the road walking.
Kim "ran out on the road, and she nipped the person on the leg," Rogers said. He says he immediately apologized when the husband of the woman who was nipped came to his door.
“I offered to take her to hospital,” Rogers said, “but she refused to travel with me.”
The woman was taken to hospital by a neighbor of Rogers and had her wound treated before being sent home. The woman needed stitches for her injury, it later emerged.
Rogers soon after received a court summons in relation to the incident. In subsequent hearings, the woman who was bitten demanded that Kim be destroyed.
Rogers offered to compensate the woman, but the woman refused. An order for Kim to be put down was granted, but was since appealed.
Rogers and Kim's saga exploded in popularity after Gript.ie reported on it, prompting Co Kerry woman Assumpta Gaffney to launch a Change.org petition in support of Rogers.
"I read it with disgust and then started scrolling through the comments," Gaffney told IrishCentral in July.
"Lots seemed to be asking if there was a petition set up. There wasn’t, so I decided to try and create one. It was much easier than I thought. I shared it to the group where the story was posted and it took off from there."
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An update posted on the online petition this week said: “Even though I am sure that you've all heard by now, today the court has put a stay on the destruction order for Kim!
“Subject to Mr. Rogers compliance with certain terms specified by the court, the judge is going to consider the possibility of placing a permanent stay on the destruction order.
“As you can all imagine, this is absolutely fantastic news for Donal and Kim.
“So, to all of you wonderful people who signed and shared this petition far and wide, thank you all so much. This petition is closing tonight.
“All that is left to say from all of us to all of you, is thank you from the bottom of our hearts.”
Rogers this week said that six-year-old Kim is “120 percent.” He takes her on a walk every day and the beloved pup “gets treats all the time.”
“I was advised to do a dog training course, and I have her on a dog training course and she is coming off the course today and will be tested tomorrow," he added.
“I also now have electric gates, which will be closed all the time.”