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Judge lets pit bull service dog stay

Jim Sak Snickers

Jim Sak and Snickers

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Updated: January 30, 2012 10:37AM

“Snickers” is home to ring in the New Year.

A federal judge in Sioux City, Iowa, granted a temporary injunction Wednesday, allowing the pit bull mix to be returned to his owner, retired Chicago cop Jim Sak, who is disabled and uses Snickers as a service dog.

On orders from the city council in Aurelia, Iowa, where Sak now lives with his wife, the retired cop two weeks ago shipped Snickers off to a kennel just outside of the tiny Iowa town; had he not agreed to do so, the city had threatened to seize and destroy the dog.

In the meantime, Sak filed suit on the grounds that the federal Americans with Disabilities Act guarantees the disabled the right to have service dogs, regardless of their breed. Aurelia has an ordinance banning pit bulls, although Sak said he and his wife, Peggy Leifer, did not know that when they moved to Aurelia last month, to be closer to her ailing mother.

“I feel great,” said Sak after Snickers returned home Wednesday. “I got my buddy home. I got my heart back.”

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