Word- The Jailbird Dog

February 5th, 2008 by Dan

A little Lhasa Apso named “Word” holds the Guinness Book of Worlds Records title for the longest dog incarceration. The trouble started back in 1993 when Word and his sister, Parsheba caused a ruckus by barking and nipping at a two people. Though, this behavior was obviously unpleasant, neither of the humans involved had any injuries – the skin wasn’t even broken from any of the nips the small dogs inflicted. However, a few days later the law came for the pair of canine fugitives. Seattle had a law at that time that any dog that growled, nipped or bit at another person or animal could be declared “vicious”. That was the title given to the pair (even though neither of their human victims would testify against the the two dogs at the hearing), so they were set to be euthanized for their mishap.

Word The Dog

Word The Dog at Pigs Peace Sanctuary

Word and Parsheba’s owner wouldn’t let his dogs go without a fight- and what a fight it was. The case was heard omany times and eventually made its way to the State Supreme Court. During this extensive battle the dogs lived their lives at the Seattle Animal Control Shelter. In 1999, Parsheba passed away from cancer while still being held in the shelter. Finally in 2001 – after 8 years and 190 days, it was decided that Word was allowed to be freed! There were many terms of his release, including the fact that he was not to have any contact with the public – thus the decision was made to send Word to Pigs Peace Sanctuary. He lived there happily under the watchful eye of the sanctuary’s owners for a couple of years. They accommodated the “sentence” that had been handed down by fencing in their entire property so that Word could have the run of the place. Word finally tasted freedom and it was sweet. About 2 years later Word was diagnosed with Squamous Cell Carcinoma, an incredibly aggressive form of cancer. He passed away in Spring of 2003 and is buried next to his sister.

I can’t believe it took the courts so long to figure out the fate of one little dog.





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