Police-Car-Eating Dog Is Back Home -- But On Probation

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A dog in Tennessee who chewed up a police car and landed in doggie jail, has been released and is back at home with his family after nearly two weeks in the custody of the local animal control shelter, reports the Chattanooga Times Free Press. The Chattanooga Police Department released astonishing video of Winston, a pit-bull mix, on his vehicle-chomping spree, flattening tires and ripping the fiberglass cover off a police-car fender.

"I try not to watch the video," Winston's chagrined owner, Nancy Emerling, tells Paw Nation. Cited for owning a "potentially dangerous dog," Emerling was ordered to appear in court.

Last month, Winston had initially started chewing the tire of a police car, and, when the officer got out and sprayed the dog with pepper spray, Winston moved on to front bumper. Even a Taser didn't stop him. The tires of a second patrol car, as well as the tires of two cars trying to pass through the area, also succumbed to Winston's powerful jaws.

At the hearing on March 25, Judge Sherry Paty ruled that Winston could go home, but with some restrictions. "Winston has to attend obedience classes, attend and successfully complete the American Kennel Club's Canine Good Citizen course and test, and he has to wear a 'potentially dangerous dog' tag," Emerling tells Paw Nation. In addition, there will be an inspection to ensure that Winston is secured either indoors or outside with proper fencing.

Emerling says she is satisfied with the judge's decision and will comply with all the restrictions, which apply for a six-month period. "After that, if Winston completes all his courses, then it's my best understanding that Winston will no longer have to wear his 'potentially dangerous dog' jewelry and he'll be off probation," says Emerling.

What will happen to Winston then? Will he be given to the police officer whose car was attacked, and who had offered to adopt Winston? "I saw the police officer in court, but I didn't get to talk to him," says Emerling. "We can't do anything for six months, so I can't say what will happen to Winston. Either he will stay here or he might go to the police officer, but I doubt that. But I can say that Winston will be with somebody who cares about him."

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