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SALEM, MO (KTVI)- A Dent County Circuit judge has cleared Phineas the dog of all charges following a 2012 alleged biting incident. Phineas, a yellow Labrador retriever, was accused of biting a 7-year-old girl. In a July 2012 decision, the mayor of Salem, MO decided that the dog needed to be euthanized. But that action has been postponed for more than a year while the case was disputed in court. Phineas has been in the custody of authorities.
In his judgement Friday, Judge, Scott Bernstein concludes that, based on expert testimony, Phineas is not guilty of biting the girl. He orders the city of Salem not to to euthanize the dog, calling it a manifest injustice. The judge says Phineas should be returned to his owners.
On Oct. 11, 2013, Phineas disappeared from the Salem veterinarian's office where he was being cared for. Police were stumped. There were no signs of a break-in and only the dog was taken. There is no word on the dog's whereabouts.