Save Phineas

Phineas Sanders Thankyou

The highlights of the Order:
“Accordingly the court finds that (1) Phineas had never bitten before and (2) Phineas is excluded as the cause of the injury to [the alleged victim] on the date in question…This court hereby, in accordance with the above, enters judgment in favor of Pet“ My name is Phineas. On 12 October 2013 I was abducted from the boarding clinic. My family and friends don’t no whether or not I’m okay. I was stolen just days before my court date, I had hopes of being released that day after being locked up for the last 16 months.

On 25 October 2013 , the Judge that sat on the bench for the hearing returned his finding.
itioners, orders that Phineas be returned to Petitioners, and permanently enjoins the City from euthanizing Phineas.”

Judge Scott Bernstein 10-25-13

Joseph P Simon Law LLC
Joseph P Simon

Saving Dogs Of Missouri


The Lexus Project

On June 23, 2013. I began my second year in doggy jail for something I really don’t understand. Apparently, some politicians in Salem, Missouri think I should die for something they say I did a long time ago . They say they want to make an example out of me. I really don’t understand it but I appreciate all of you who are supportive of me and my family. I’m lonely and just want to go home, I want to play ball and run, I want to sleep at the foot of my kids beds and make sure they are safe. Please continue to share my page and my story with your friends because I need all the support I can get.”

Save Phineas

• Phineas is a sweet, friendly yellow Labrador Retriever dog, unjustly labeled vicious and given a death sentence by the City of Salem, Missouri. He allegedly bit a neighbor girl. The issue to date seems a 16 month saga of injustice, small town politics, personal vendettas and rumor with many collateral issues. Attempting to summarize with just the most basic of facts is difficult. Phineas is in his second year of city custody.

• During his first nine months of incarceration, Phineas was kept safely at DCAWS, a local no kill animal shelter. He was then quarantined by city officials in undisclosed locations. One of those locations had him caged in the dark and windowless basement of the old town firehouse with only a wooden shipping pallet to sleep on. Another location was the pump house under the town water tower. A third undiscovered location resulted in a public outcry which brought Fox Media and the Missouri Department of Agriculture to town, forcing the City to turn Phineas over to qualified veterinary care professionals. Cruel and unusual acts toward Phineas and his family, but those same seemingly sadistic actions made animal lovers around the world take notice. When these claims were proven valid, the support group grew from a few thousand to forty-thousand overnight and has since grown to 170,000.

• Despite the fact that Phineas was deemed not vicious by a behavioral expert and that the girl’s mother recanted her story about two previous bites, the judge seemed to ignore all testimony and sided with Salem, Missouri Mayor Gary Brown’s hearing report.

• While authorized by Missouri statutes to do so, the mayor refuses to initiate action to vacate the euthanasia sentence. Supporters hoped that having this story in the media as much as possible, having petitions signed and substantiating the facts would change the city officials’ minds. So far these actions have been returned with unprofessional ridicule and mockery from some city officials.

• The images used as evidence were presented to the media by Mayor Brown during interviews. Those images were also shared with the public. At a glance, many were dumbfounded. The alleged bite appeared to many as something other than a dog bite, impossible to have been made by Phineas. Public outcry grew. Confronted by Phineas supporters, city officials said “prove it.” Supporters set out to do just that. Experts in Odontology, Canine Behavior and Canine Bites produced analysis using industry standard methods. The independent studies are of mutual conclusion that Phineas should be excluded as the source of the alleged bruise/bite marks on the child. City officials and local print media once again ridiculed and mocked the efforts of the support group.

• A hearing for a 2nd Request For Relief Of Judgment filed by Phineas’ legal counsel has been granted. In a community this size, an impartial hearing seems impossible. The case will be heard by the same judge that passed sentence. However, legal counsel feels it is a positive sign that the judge has agreed to hold the hearing. Meanwhile, the appellate court has stayed its proceedings until after this hearing.

• Phineas’ story has been covered by Inside Edition, Fox 2 News, Fox Syndicates, St Louis Post-Dispatch, The San Francisco Chronicle, KSPR Springfield, KOLR 10, Ozark News, Associated Press, AOL Headline News, The Riverfront Times and various high profile online news portals. Phineas has a support group with more than 170,000 active supporters.

“from Phineas”
a poem by Mary Ellen Kane
In silence I sit and wait for you , To come and take me home
The pain inside hurts so much, And I feel so alone

What happened to the days before, Of playing in the sun
You throw the ball, I run, I fetch, It all was so much fun

Was it real, or just a dream, I really do not know
All I know is I'm sitting here, And missing you so

I hear voices in the hallway, And footsteps drawing near
My tail begins to wag, And magically you're here!

"There you are," I say, "You've come to take me home!" 
It's been so long, and truthfully, I've been so alone

We hug, we kiss, you scratch my back, I'm overwhelmed with joy
You reach around and present to me, "Oh a brand new toy!"

My family is so good to me, But then they start to cry
Oh no, please don't tell me again, I'm not going, but why?

They get up and say goodbye to me, Once again I sit alone
All I want more than anything, Is to be free, and go home ...

Written with tears and much love, for you Phineas by Mary Ellen Kane

Freedom 4 Phineas

Phineas Reward

Updated in progress 25 October 2013 cd

43 thoughts on “Save Phineas

  1. Voice Of Phineas Post author

    The site is a work in progress . The storyline is based upon revised versions of the article published in “Life With Dogs” publication . Information and resources from various sources has been gathered and condensed into a comprehensive layout for easier comprehension . Feel free to leave comments . But the real heartbeat of the Save Phineas Project is the Facebook Page for fluid interaction . This is to provide and uninterrupted presentation for review by media as an online presskit as well as viewers simply trying to understand why Phineas is being abused and how they can help . Please find the links at the top of the site for resources to the petition, chip-in fund , media and contact links , etc . Thanks for your concern and interest . Phineas can’t speak for himself . Together we are the Voice Of Phineas , and he will be heard .


    1. Dawn Wright

      I just want you to know that I just got off of the phone with the mayor of Salem. Don’t be afraid, Phineas! Everything will be alright. GOD is blessing you and your family and you will go home soon Baby. I love you and I want you to be able to feel the love from all of your friends out here. We will save you with GOD’s help!

      1. Lisa Law

        Hey Dawn. How did the conversation go? City “officials” tried to blow sunshine up our butts with Lennox (Northern Ireland) and Wicca (Canada) too, but they are both dead now. Murdered. This Mayor sounds shady as shit. It was awesome of you to call though!

  2. patricia white

    contacted the shirt Main # info an have been waiting for a reply as how to go about getting 1 as they are out of stock, also tried thrift stores,,My friend Cindi has been spearheading this with us…trying hard to help..

  3. Sarah

    Kendall’s mother should be charged with obstruction of justice. It’s just so sick. What kind of awful people would lie like that and cause so much pain to their neighbors? I hope the Sanders sue the pants off that evil woman!

    1. Melinda STewart

      The victim’s mother first said in the police report she didn’t want the dog taken and then also wrote a plea to the mayor and the judge to spare his life. The rest of her family is not in agreement for compromise, compassion and forgiveness and have been quite vocal about it.

  4. Penny Duncan

    Give the dog a break, the bite does NOT look like a canine bite. Let the dog go home enough is enough

  5. Heather

    Isn’t the rule that if a dog bites someone 3 times that it’s put to death? One time for defending one of his humans should definitely not require a death sentence. If a dog bit me and it barely broke the skin, and I knew he was being protective, I would absolutely not press charges.

  6. kathy malloy

    Why hasn’t Mayor Brown been cited for animal abuse? To house an animal in the basement of a fire house or the water plant constitutes animal abuse. He should also be required to pay all fines levied against the family…. And most importantly, he needs to be impeached….This Man is dangerous and abusing his authority!

    1. Shoshona

      G R E A T M I N D S T H I N K A L I K E ! ! !

      When I first read of this, I, too, thought “Hizzoner, the Mayor” should be impeached or a recall should be immediately instituted. “Hizzoner, the Mayor” is a symbol of what is WRONG, not just in Salem, but all across the USA when corrupt, sleazy, virtueless, self-serving, self-important, self-aggrandizing, craven, frauds take office then seize and gather power for their own selfish ends — a pox upon them all!!!

      The city of Salem, by virtue (or should I say LACK of virtue?) should also be liable for ALL the boarding fees incurred by their unorthodox incarceration of this gentle, beloved dog! Yes, there have been good people who work for the city who have done kindnesses for Phineas — but since power starts at the very corrupt top (“Hizzoner, the Mayor”) and flows downward, they’re all tainted by the stench of his corrupt abuse of power & his like-minded cronies in the city’s power base (see reference in the account to the dishonorable Fire Chief Nash — giving a bad name to firefighters everywhere, the pusillanimous coward!)…

      Once this nightmare is resolved, and God willing Phineas goes home to his family, a lawsuit should still be pursued against both the city and “Hizzoner, the Mayor” for the abuses Phineas & his family were put through, the expenses incurred and such things as unlawful seizure of property (I absolutely HATE that our beloved animals are considered property — but in this case, use the law to help!), due process violations, AND surprise, surprise: violations of a couple of the Bill of Rights in our US Constitution (a case could be made for Phineas’ rights being violated since some never specify human or animal, but instead refer to “the accused” — but looking just at the abuses of Phineas’ family should be more than adequate). Let me cite & elaborate on the Amendments:

      1) Phineas’ Value far exceeds $20 — And his family NEVER got a Jury Trial:
      – Amendment VII
      In suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of
      trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise reexamined in any
      court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.

      2) Cruel & Unusual Punishment of Phineas, Forcing family to pay $300+ a month for his board & care while imposing a cruel separation upon Phineas & his family — most notably, little Lexi (how can anyone NOT be moved by her anguished photo? More proof that “Hizzoner, the Mayor” cares not one iota for the people of Salem, rather he only responds to his cronies)

      – Amendment VIII
      Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual
      punishments inflicted.

      Bottom line, throw the bum (“Hizzoner, the Mayor”) out on his pampered tush!!! And make the deposed, deranged, despotic dictator (don’tcha just love this alliteration applied to “Hizzoner, the Mayor”???) pay all fines, fees and settlements… And may his fellow Salemites distance themselves from his corrupt self, so he never knows a minute’s Peace in a town whose name means PEACE!!!

      ‘Nuff Said!!!

    2. Cheryl

      In my opinion the Major is not letting Phineas go because he doesn’t want to recant and make himself look bad. It is all about his image and what people might think of him if he doesn’t stick to his first decision. It has nothing to do with Phineas. If the Major only knew that showing himself to be fair and just and honest, he would get admiration instead. He knows that Phineas is not the vicious animal that was portrayed. I wish he would show himself also to be caring and honest and let Phineas go home.

  7. Helen Flora

    I am really shocked that the individuals making the final decision to have this dog put down are overlooking the evidence and recant of the original accusations made by the victim of the dog bite, and the fact just looking at the bite mark /impression itself, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know that the bite was made by a human and not a dog, the canine teeth are missing. This case should be further investigated, and maybe some other authority figure should make final ruling on this case, I hate it when someone has the power to decide the fate of another, whether human or animal, and refuses to review new evidence because they are bent on following through their decision, even if it is wrong. This case stinks and needs a fresh set of legal eyes to work it.

    Helen Flora

  8. megan

    That is NO dog bite! I would do a background check into the family for possible child abuse. Only a human could have made an impression like that. For all we know, the dog is a scape goat in this because a bite like that would raise attention especially in the school system. What an ignorant judge … and how cruel and inhumane to treat a breed that is known for its gentle nature this way.

    1. Cheryl

      Maybe that is why they jumped to have the dog accused quickly. You are right and the family should be investigated. What is wrong with this retarded Major. He could get so much farther by checking into this properly. A child may be at risk!

    2. Kat Ingram

      I agree. That bite was A) *so* not a dog bite and B) *way* to large for a child’s mouth to have done. The parents of the bitten child need to be investigated and Phineas needs to GO HOME!!!

    1. Pat

      That is NOT a dog bite – I have been bitten many times in my life and I know what a dog bite looks like. I have been bitten by injured dogs, very sick dogs, while running and playing or wrestling around with dogs and I still love dogs. For that to be a dog bite, where are the punctures from the canines? It is either a human bite or the girl rolled over onto an object on the ground. A Lab vicious? Only if someone has tormented them or they are in extreme pain. The mayor is a sadistic idiot and should be recalled..

    2. Baf

      Why aren’t the experts consulted. They need a vet and a physician to testify on the mark. I agree that this looks like human bite. That POS of a mayor should have the intelligence to understand facts or he should leave office because he is too stupid to make decisions for the good of the community. If it is his ego in the way, then the people in his town should re-call his backside.

  9. Pingback: URL

  10. Amy Lewis

    This whole situation sickens me!! As a life long lab owner, I know there is no way he is vicious!! The “bite” mark looks more like a dog brush was fallen on!!! The kind with metal bristles around the perimeter and soft bristles in the middle!!

  11. Rona Belser

    I am supporting PHINEAS and will not give up until he is set Free!!! This is a travesty of injustice!! PHINEAS has been imprisoned for a year now!!! I have emailed city officials and the governor too!! Please let me know what else I can do to help!!!! Rona Belser from Birmingham,Al



    1. Cheryl

      Is there any way for the people to demand an investigation into the family and the bite? Usually there is a higher rank than the Major that stops everything and investigates it all, including the Major!

  13. MagE

    Not trying to say it is or that it is not, this is just my opinion, but I have owned many many dogs in my life of all sizes and breeds including lab, which I assume from his photos is what Phineas is, and I have been bitten many times. That is not a dog bite. I also have three beautiful children and they play rough. It looks way more like another human bite. Again, just my opinion from experience.

  14. Joni

    I understand that all states are different when it comes to these incidents. but here in NC they base whether the dog gets a kill order or not on whether its their first time biting and if they have ever been vicious before… my daughter who is now 5 was biten by a neighbors( a good friend) dog… My daughter and another little girl were playing and the same thing happened kind of…My daughter lost her balance and fell backwards and the dog thought she was trying to hurt the other little girl( which she was protecting) and she bit my daughter in the face…Was i upset of course it happened right in front of me i was 2 seconds away from the whole thing and there was nothing i could do, It was over before i knew what had actually happened except that my daughter had been bit and was bleeding… We called 911 and were rushed to the hospital and some odd number of stitches later she was ok physically…Emotionally was a battle and i have pictures of what a dog bite looks like and the mark they are saying is Phineas’s bite mark is ridiculous… A dog doesnt make sure they make a perfect bite mark they just bite and release, which in turn causing the skin to rip or shred most of the time… My daughter was missing a small chunk of skin after her incident but the ER was able to stitch it to where the scars arent that bad…

    Also Animal control was called of course, the dog was quarantined for so many days to see if it had signs of rabies and had it shown signs the dog would have been put down…However the dog didnt and the dog remains at the neighbors in a pen…The dog cannot run around freely anymore but he isnt dead either which to me makes me happy on both ends… Am i upset that they didnt kill the dog?

    NO….the dog was just trying to protect what he thought needed protecting… even though he bit my daughter i admire the dog for protecting his child owner…

    I truly feel for these kids and they shouldnt have to suffer and lose their beloved dog due to someone suggesting the dog bit their child… Steps need to be taken before the dog is put down to see if the dog is actually guilty of said crime…what happened to innocent until proven guilty???? Animals can be unjustly accused as well as humans and unlike us they cannot speak for themselves

  15. Brenda

    I have to agree that it does not look like a dog bite, I have had dogs most of my life and even when puppies are teething bites still look like bites. Someone needs to take a closer look at the situation and maybe get animal rights involved I don’t see how it can be humain to keep that poor dog locked up for such a long period of time. If your Mayor wants to make an example of something maybe he should find the people who run puppy mills and abuse their animals instead of going after this poor boy who most likely just wants to go home to his family.

  16. Kim

    Mayor Brown,
    Who do you think you are? I hope you drop dead and burn in in hell for eternity. If you could do this to a wonderful animal like this, you do not need to have authority of any kind. You deserve the worst that life has to offerand I hope you get just that.

  17. Lisa Law

    What confuses me is how there is even still a case if everyone recanted? Doesn’t that make it not a case? No sense.

  18. Karen McHose

    Could this be a clever design to coverup child abuse by pretending the other family’s dog did it?

  19. Maryla Webb

    What is the latest? I can’t find anything. I think I read in the news that the thing is going to some kind of court (an appeals court?). When? Where? If the judge is really stupid again and doesn’t rule in favor of Phinease and his family, are there more appeals available? I should be first and foremost the latest in the saga in EACH website devoted to Phineas. His adoring public is interested.

    And, I read in the news that even the family doesn’t want Phineas put to death anymore; the little girls involved are still friends, and the little girl “bit” is very upset too, and wants Phineas to come home. (I attached the whole article below; along with my email to all of the parties involved. I just sent it yesterday. I realized after I wrote it that Scott Bernstein is the judge to already ruled AGAINST Phineas. I don’t know the new judge OR the court. The attorney for the city of Salem has NOT been a pro-Phineas actor either (the last email). It is a very confusing situation. Doesn’t make any sense, why they won’t just drop it. They claim, now it is in the courts that they CAN’T, but I have read that that isn’t true. Maryla
    I would encourage EVERYONE to write. They are all already so sick of this and want it to go away. Maybe they will just drop things I hope. If not, please contribute to the Lexus fund for the legal defense costs for this poor family. Thanks.

    Subject: Dog Phineas
    Date: Thu, 27 Jun 2013 10:06:43 -0500

    I don’t know if you are the judge in this case. I would beg you to give Phineas a reprieve from his death sentence. There is MORE than an ABUNDANCE of evidence that this is NOT a vicious dog. The little girl bitten even wants to see him saved. Dogs don’t have hands, so they use their mouths, even for affection. My dog affectionately bites me all the time. Futhermore, it appears very much to me that the “bite” evidenced in the pictures is that of a person, not a dog, even with a little “hickey” in the middle. Only the little girl knows who REALLY bit her. There may be MUCH more to the story here than meets the eye. Why in the world the mayor would be so fixated on this is beyond me. He obviously has very little experience or knowledge about dogs. The dog should have been released to his family long ago, as even the “victim” seems to desire. This world appears to have gone crazy. If Phineas is put down, it would be such a travesty of justice, that I would hardly be able to believe it. That these poor folks have had to endure all this (much less Phineas) has already been travesty of justice enough. Don’t give your state and your town a bad rap. The measure of a man is when he can admit he is wrong and do the right thing. Thanks for your attention.

    Maryla Webb, Montgomery, Alabama (Over 130,000 people have “liked” the Save Phineas petition on Facebook. There are now close to 60,000 signatures on one petition, and 15,000 signatures on another. There may be more that I am not aware of.)

    “But J.J. Tune agreed. He’s been a vet for 40 years and has a clinic in town. Also, he didn’t quite realize how controversial the dog was. He got Phineas in late May.
    One recent day Tune walked Phineas outside. The vet pointed to the police station just up the road, remarking he had asked the officers to keep an eye on his clinic’s famous resident. He then led Phineas inside, past a front counter covered in chew toys and bones that had just arrived in the mail from far-flung fans. Tune said he doesn’t think the dog is vicious. And he doesn’t think the dog needs to be euthanized.
    “But the city does,” Tune said. “I don’t know who gave the city that authority. This is not an aggressive dog.”
    It seems that no one who has spent any time around the dog — from town officials to shelter staff to veterinarians — comes away thinking Phineas is vicious. Even Lucas, the city administrator, said he never saw any signs that Phineas was a bad dog when he visited him a couple times a week for the past year.”

    ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI) – The fight to save a condemned Labrador Retriever in Dent County has turned into a global campaign. The city of Salem wants to put down Phineas because the dog bit a 7 year old girl last summer. But, the wound was very minor. The shelter keeping the dog deemed it to be gentle and friendly. Now, the little girl bitten and her family are asking the city to spare the dogs life.
    The mayor has received more than 700 emails asking him to save Phineas. Mayor Brown says he has received emails from as far away as Brazil with offers to adopt the dog. The Mayor originally deemed the dog vicious after the 7-year-old was bitten and because of reports of two other bites from the same dog. But that report was later found to be untrue. The three year old lab has been away from his family for months, moved from a shelter to a now undisclosed location. The lawyer representing the dog’s owners says the little girl bitten is now agonizing over the fate of Phineas.
    “It’s traumatic for her. She’s actually the true hero of this story because she’s come over to our side and wants phineas to be saved. She’s still frineds with the little girl whose dog it was and she wants her friend to have her dog back.” said Joe Simon.
    The Sander’s family even says they would not object to the dog being adopted and moved out of Salem if it means saving his life. They’ve even offered to move the dog to a farm outside Salem. The dog was taken away from them last June. They are now waiting for a judge’s decision to determine if Phineas lives or dies.
    The mayor claims he will abide by whatever ruling the judge makes.

  20. Leah

    Looking at the picture of the bite on the little girls side, it looks like the bite is from an “adult” human. My prayers are going to Phineas and his family.

  21. Debra Hughes

    You can clearly see that is NOT a dog bite!! Looks more like a human’s bite, I think since Kendall’s grandpa is putting up such a fuss…he very well bit his granddaughter!! I mean her mother wants Phineas to be back with his family. There is something fishy going on here! I have been bit by a dog before and that is not a dog bite,open your eyes!! Judge & mayor you need to stop being so pathetic and know if there is only one person against the dog then he should be checked into,I think it is horrible that an innocent dog is being blamed for a human’s bite! Geez people the poor dog did no wrong! Put Phineas back with the Sanders and get a life!

  22. June

    How does something like this happen? Doesn’t Salem. MO care about truth, integrity & justice. Obviously not since they have steamrolled all of it. How can anyone ever trust ANYTHING that they say or do? It is too bad when those selected to be our leaders turn out to be dishonest & certainly not trustworthy.

    They must not care how they appear to the multitudes that are watching. It seems they’re not reasonable people. Vindictive, controlling, proud & how many other adjectives can be used? MANY!

  23. Leah

    Shouldn’t there be a huge crowd of supporters with signs for Phineas at the courthouse before and during the trial hearing? Come on folks, let’s be there to show the judge what he needs to do for Phineas!!

  24. Cheryl

    What about a court case that defuses all of this and lets someone else decide. That way the bite must be investigated for evidence. Why can’t the dogs family turn the accusations around and force an investigation? Maybe they should talk to a good lawyer. The initial counsel (1 hour, where we live) is free and they could keep checking lawyers until they find an animal lover that will help. Can’t hurt to try. i would sue that lawyer and the family!

  25. Julie

    SHAME ON YOU MAYOR GARY BROWN!!!. You have let Phineas down and you have let the town of Salem down….Most of all, you have let Phineas’ family down! Your refusal to release this innocent dog is absolutely deplorable! I have been bitten by a dog before and let me tell you from experience….THAT IS NOT A DOG BITE! I had distinct holes where the dog’s canines breached my skin. I don’t care about you saving face because by now, you have sunk so low that no one respects you anyway. Phineas does not deserve the treatment that you have forced on him and I again say “SHAME ON YOU MAYOR GARY BROWN!!!!”

  26. sharmiila

    the mayor needs to go-anyone without compassion should not be reelected- who the hell would vote him in again-phineas must not be killed -let him go or tell me where the dog is i shall personally dognap him and take him away somewhere safe–down with the mean rotten mayor


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>