Blues Captain David Backes Fights to Save Phineas the Dog, Salem Pet on Death Row

"I was in shock," Denton says of his call with the Blues captain. "He said thanks a lot for what I was doing, and that they supported me 100 percent, and that if I needed anything, let me know."

He says that Backes told him he would be willing to help take the dog to the shelter until the matter was sorted out.

Courtesy of Joe Simon.
The fire department location where officials were reportedly holding Phineas (video here).

Brad Nash, chief of the volunteer fire department, tells us that he can't comment on the specifics of personnel matters, but says that Denton was "placed on leave...for unrelated issues."

He says it had nothing to do with Phineas.

"The accusation that he is making is definitely not true," he says.

He also says that the Missouri Department of Agriculture found the conditions to be acceptable.

"They did an investigation and found no issues whatsoever," he says.

Courtesy of Joe Simon.
Phineas and Lexi, age seven.

Salem mayor Gary Brown -- who made the initial determination that the dog should be euthanized -- tells us that the city is taking good care of Phineas. "He would be let out and walked and played outside. He was not kept in any inhumane way at all."

Phineas is no longer at the fire department, says Nash, who tells us the city has moved him elsewhere (and he does not know the new location).

Meanwhile, city officials met yesterday in private to to discuss the ongoing litigation. The next court date is scheduled for May 23.

Here's video of David and Kelly Backes advocating for dogs and cats.

David and Kelly Backes Speak Up for Minnesota Dogs and Cats from Animal Folks on Vimeo.

Send feedback and tips to the author. Follow Sam Levin on Twitter at @SamTLevin.

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