LOCAL NEWS

Court battle over notorious Bellevue cat ramps up this Friday

Oct 21, 2020, 2:05 PM | Updated: 3:25 pm
Miska Bellevue cat...
Miska in a cage outside. (King County Animal Control)
(King County Animal Control)

Over the summer of 2019, a Bellevue cat named Miska was said to have killed dozens of neighborhood pets. Miska’s owner, Anna Danieli, then filed a lawsuit alleging Animal Control had unfairly targeted her pet, and now, that legal battle will soon begin to play out in court.

Notorious Bellevue cat said to have killed ‘dozens’ of pets since 2012

That will come in the form of a hearing in Pierce County Superior Court on Friday, Oct. 23, where Danieli’s lawyers will ask the court to void the cat’s alleged violations dating back to 2016. Danieli is arguing that because King County “instituted major changes to county code” in 2016 while Bellevue “failed to update their own municipal codes,” the King County Hearing Examiner does not have “and never had” the ability to pass judgment on Bellevue animal cases filed against pet owners.

“We believe the motion clearly sets out how the King County Hearing Examiner lacked the appropriate legal authority to hear animal enforcement cases from Bellevue because of Bellevue’s failure to update its own laws,” said Jon Zimmerman, one of two lawyers representing Miska and her owner. “Given King County’s continued prosecution of Miska, we hope the Court will grant the family some modest relief.”

Many of Miska’s violations predate 2016, although several complaints against the cat have been filed in the time since.

In September of 2014, a “confinement order” was issued against Miska for her alleged crimes. That essentially amounted to house arrest, requiring that her owner keep her in a fenced area secured “with a padlock to prevent accidental release,” or leashed when outside the confines of her property.

Danieli took issue with the order, filing an appeal in October 2014. In the appeal, she claimed that over a two month period, she observed six other unconfined cats in the perimeter of her neighbor’s address, “including one closely resembling Miska in stripes and coloring.”

How much King County has spent prosecuting a Bellevue cat

Danieli cited a lack of evidence to prove Miska truly was the culprit behind the various animal deaths. In a pair of cases before the King County Board of Appeals, however, board members twice pointed to a “preponderance of evidence” behind the issuance of fines for “vicious animal at large” charges. That evidence included several photos and videos of Miska chasing, attacking, and maiming other animals.

Attorneys for Danieli believe that if Friday’s motion is sustained by the court, it could have wide-ranging effects on pet owners across the region.

“One of the significant issues is how the judge’s decision in this case could potentially affect a significant number of people in the City of Bellevue (or any other contracting city in King County that has failed to properly update its municipal code) whose cases were decided based on either outdated or missing municipal code provisions,” they detailed on a website providing background in the case.

A full trial is set for 2021, separate from Friday’s motion filed by Danieli’s lawyers.

Local News

SDOT Light Rail Ped...
KIRO 7 News Staff

Pedestrian struck, injured by Link light rail train in south Seattle

A pedestrian was struck and injured by a Link light rail train Wednesday afternoon in south Seattle.
1 day ago
(Photo courtesy of King County)...
Frank Sumrall

King County executive initiates plan to conserve and save the region’s wilderness

King County executive announced a plan to protect 65,000 acres of forests, farmland, and greenspace, raising property taxes in the process.
1 day ago
drought...
MyNorthwest Staff

Drought may impact most of Pacific Northwest this summer

Drought is expected to impact much of the Pacific Northwest this summer, impacting areas throughout eastern Washington, southern Oregon and southern Idaho.
1 day ago
(Photo by David Ryder/Getty Images)...
Frank Sumrall

SPD report discovers 80% of 911 calls were for non-criminal events

After reviewing more than 1.2 million 911 calls from 2017 to 2019, the Seattle Police Department (SPD) found 79.7% of calls were for non-criminal events.
1 day ago
...
KIRO 7 News Staff

9-year-old boy shot by younger brother in Federal Way

A 9-year-old boy was airlifted to Harborview Medical Center after being shot by his younger brother in Federal Way.
1 day ago
The US government will fly in baby formula on commercial planes contracted by the military in an ai...
Heather Bosch

A guide to locate baby formula from Washington’s Department of Health

Washington's Department of Health has put together a list of resources to help find nutritious food to feed your newborn.
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Anacortes – A Must Visit Summertime Destination

While Anacortes is certainly on the way to the San Juan Islands (SJI), it is not just a destination to get to the ferry… Anacortes is a destination in and of itself!
...

Ready for your 2022 Alaskan Adventure with Celebrity Cruises?

Celebrity Cruises SPONSORED — A round-trip Alaska cruise from Seattle is an amazing treat for you and a loved one. Not only are you able to see and explore some of the most incredible and visually appealing natural sights on the planet, but you’re also able to relax and re-energize while aboard a luxury cruise […]
...

Compassion International Is Determined to ‘Fill’ a Unique Type of Football ‘Stadium’

Compassion International SPONSORED — During this fall’s football season—and as the pandemic continues to impact the entire globe—one organization has been urging caring individuals to help it “fill” a unique type of “stadium” in order to make a lasting difference in the lives of many. Compassion International’s distinctive Fill the Stadium (FtS, fillthestadium.com) initiative provides […]
...

What are the Strongest, Greenest, Best Windows?

Lake Washington Windows & Doors SPONSORED — Fiberglass windows are an excellent choice for window replacement due to their fundamental strength and durability. There is no other type of window that lasts as long as fiberglass; so why go with anything else? Fiberglass windows are 8x stronger than vinyl, lower maintenance than wood, more thermally […]
...

COVID Vaccine is a Game-Changer for Keeping our Kids Healthy

Snohomish Health District SPONSORED — Cheers to the parents and guardians who keep their kids safe and healthy. The dad who cooks a meal with something green in it, even though he’s tired and drive-thru burgers were tempting. The mom who calms down the little one who loudly and resolutely does NOT want to brush […]
...
Experience Anacortes

Coastal Christmas Celebration Week in Anacortes

With minimal travel time required and every activity under the sun, Anacortes is the perfect vacation spot for all ages.
Court battle over notorious Bellevue cat ramps up this Friday