DNA Investigation Saves Belgian Malinois from Death Sentence

Posted by Amber King
belgian malinois
All images via Free Jeb from Animal Control-Change.org

Jeb, a Belgian Malinois, was in the wrong place at the wrong time when he was seen standing over the dead body of his canine neighbor.

Jeb lives with his owner, 80-year-old Ken Job, in a residential neighborhood in St. Clair Township, Michigan. A disabled veteran, Ken adopted Jeb from an animal rescue. As a service dog in training, Jeb helps his owner ward off the side effects of several auto immune diseases.

According to doctors, Ken shouldn't have been able to walk past age 35, but thanks to leg braces, a cane, and his Belgian Malinois, he's still moving. But a serious misunderstanding recently sent Jeb to death row.

Belgian Malinois

Back in August, Jeb was blamed for the death of a Pomeranian named Vlad. The dog's injuries suggested he had been picked up and shaken by a larger animal. And after finding Jeb at the scene of the crime, there was little doubt of who the perpetrator was.

Vlad's owner, the responding animal control officers, and a judge, all thought Jeb was guilty. But not Ken. After a judge ordered Jeb to be euthanized, Ken fought for his dog and petitioned for a DNA test to be performed. The judge agreed, and DNA was taken off Vlad's body to see if it matched the accused.

Belgian Malinois

Jeb spent over two months on death row, but this past week, the results were finally in. The test concluded that the DNA found on Vlad's body was not Jeb's. DNA from both dogs was analyzed by a team at the University of Florida, and it was determined that Jeb was innocent.

While Vlad's death remains unsolved, Ken is overjoyed to have his dog back. Jeb was released into his care on Wednesday, and besides looking "awful skinny," the big dog is enjoying his return to freedom.

Ken plans on installing a new fence to prevent his dog from being falsely accused in the future. A GoFundMe page was set up in Jeb's honor in hopes of helping other dog owners in similar situations.

All images via Free Jeb from Animal Control-Change.org

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