CHARLESTON – The case involving a whippet mix named Jasper has been sent back to the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals.

Three briefs have been filed in the case since July and the justices will now determine whether Jasper will live or die.

In 2015, Raleigh Magistrate Court sent Jasper to the dog version of death row, after he bit a 4-year-old and an 8-year-old.

Jasper’s case began in 2014, when a criminal complaint was filed against his owner, Brenda Jeffrey, in Raleigh Magistrate Court. Jeffrey signed a statement of surrender, voluntarily giving up Jasper to the Humane Society of Raleigh County. She claimed she thought the document was for a 10-day hold.

On Jan. 28, 2015, a hearing in Raleigh Circuit Court was held to determine Jasper’s fate. On Feb. 11, 2015, the circuit court entered an order granting the state’s motion to have Jasper put down. That May, the magistrate court also agreed that Jasper should be euthanized.

After that, the human society filed a writ of prohibition. On Feb. 23, 2016, a circuit court judge in Raleigh determined that the humane society lacked standing to bring an appeal. The humane society then appealed to the Supreme Court—claiming the circuit court’s ruling lacked standing.

In January, the Supreme Court issued a memorandum decision affirming the circuit court’s ruling. However, on Feb. 3, the shelter received a fax staying the case—just minutes before Jasper was to be euthanized.

Since he was surrendered, Jasper has been held in semi-isolation at the shelter.

Jeffrey is represented by Roger G. Hanshaw of Bowles Rice and Cindy J. Fernald.

W.Va. Supreme Court of Appeals case number: 17-0365

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