Landrum dogs declared vicious, owner ordered to cover expenses

Published 12:19 pm Tuesday, April 23, 2024

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Spartanburg Co. judge rules after pony killed in January


LANDRUM—A Spartanburg County judge has declared two dogs dangerous and vicious animals for killing a miniature horse named “Maggie” in Landrum and ordered dog owner John Belue to pay the pony’s owners $4,715 to cover their medical and burial expenses.

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In addition, Spartanburg County Associate Judge David J. Turner ordered the dog owner to pay the county $1,100 for having to impound and keep the dogs.

Last month, Judge Turner fined Belue $1,600 after he pleaded guilty to letting the dogs run loose, failing to keep them up to date on vaccinations, allowing the dogs to be a nuisance and attacking the pony.

Stephanie Morris, a neighbor of Belue, was at her home on Miracle Farm Road in January when a friend called to tell her “Maggie” was being attacked in her pasture. By the time she reached the family pet, the dogs had chewed off the horse’s ears, ripped open its throat and broken a leg with their powerful jaws. She couldn’t be saved.

“We are pleased with the final outcome, glad he is being held responsible for what his dogs did,” Morris said.

The judge’s decision came on Monday. He gave Belue 10 days to pay the fine and reimburse Morris. So far, failing to contain and control his dogs has cost Beleu $7,415. 

Belue said afterward he would let the court know whether he wanted the dogs back after he learned that the county requires that the owner of dogs deemed dangerous and vicious must carry $300,000 liability insurance on each dog.