She’s gone


Staff Writer

IRON MOUNTAIN – Roxy, the pit bull mix that violated Iron Mountain’s vicious dog ordinance but was spared euthanasia, has left the state of Michigan in accordance with a Jan. 28 court order from Dickinson County Circuit Court Judge Mary B. Barglind.

Emily Ritsema, one of Roxy’s supporters, reported that she transported the dog to Wisconsin over the weekend. Roxy will stay there for a few days before being transferred to a professional transporter for the next leg of the journey, she added.

“We are not allowed to share exactly where she is headed, per the Lexus Project, but she will be traveling southwest,” said Ritsema. “I have started a Facebook page for anyone who wants to continue to follow her story.”

To access the page, search “Roxanne Freedom” on Facebook.

Ritsema explained that once Roxy arrives at her destination rescue shelter, she will be evaluated by someone familiar with pit bull breeds, then possibly put up for adoption.

Judge Barglind’s order, which was agreed upon by both Iron Mountain City Attorney Michael Celello and Roxy’s owners, required that Roxy be permanently removed from the state of Michigan within 21 days.

Although Roxy was owned by Vicki Tavonatti of Iron Mountain at the time she violated the vicious dog ordinance, a non-profit group called the Lexus Project took up her case, and ownership, in court.

The case stems from a July 12 incident, in which Roxy bit a woman who was walking in the alley near the 300 block of West Ludington Street. The woman went to Dickinson County Memorial Hospital’s emergency department for treatment of the bite wound.

Per the city’s vicious dog ordinance, Roxy was ordered to be euthanized. However, she gained supporters who spoke out on her behalf at Iron Mountain City Council meetings and court hearings.

After several hearings at both the district and the circuit court level, all parties involved came to an agreement about Roxy’s fate.

Roxy had been housed at the Almost Home Animal Shelter in Quinnesec in the interim.

Nikki Younk’s e-mail address is