GALAX, Va. (WDBJ7) The fate of a Galax dog will come down to a judge's decision.
It all started back in August when two pit bulls got loose and attacked a neighbor's cat.
A judge labeled both dogs as dangerous meaning certain provisions needed to be taken. But the family couldn't follow them all.
Now they're trying to find another option to save their dog.
In order to keep a dangerous dog, owners like Sandy Carranza and her daughter, whose dogs bit the cat, have to follow new rules.
Galax City Manager Keith Barker explained, "They have to carry an insurance policy of $100,000, they have to microchip the dog, they have to post their property as having a dangerous dog, if the dog is taken outside it has to be on a leash and a muzzle at all times."
They also have to build a pen outside with a roof and solid floor.
They did all that. But around Thanksgiving there was a problem.
Carranza explained, "My daughter started college and she was no longer able to pay for the insurance on the dog so she signed the dog over to the dog pound."
When the shelter came for Mocha, Carranza said she wanted a friend to take it.
But the city said that friend didn't follow the law.
"Never registered it with the state, I went online and looked at that, didn't build the pen, did not attain the insurance," Barker said.
So the dog was given back to the family. And Sandy's daughter signed it over to the shelter again.
But Carranza didn't want the dog killed, as would be policy for a dangerous dog.
"The dog is like my granddaughter," she said. "The dog has lived in my home ever since she was a puppy."
So Carranza posted to the Galax Talk of the Town page on Facebook where it received a lot of attention.
Page Creater Bridget Strachan said, "We don't think that the punishment fits the crime."
The family has arranged for the dog to be taken to a rescue in Luray.
But it's up to the city to allow that because they would be liable if anything bad happened with Mocha.
Barker explained, "Speaking to the owners of that rescue, they are not registered with the State and the Department of Agriculture and Consumer affairs as they shelter or receiving agency."
A hearing Monday will decide whether the dog will be put down or if it can be transferred to that rescue.
Carranza said the rescue would rehabilitate Mocha and either adopt her out to a family with no pets or kids or keep her at the rescue permanently.