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Wednesday, June 26, 2013

SAD JUSTICE

Tonight I sit here writing this with mixed emotions.  Is it possible to feel happy to one extent, but yet so sad to another?

You may recall that last July, Mindy and my husband were attacked by a Pit Bull/Great Dane mix in our neighborhood while on a morning walk.  Mindy sustained several puncture wounds and my husband cut open his thumb on the key chain which was holding a canister of pepper spray.  He never had a chance to use the pepper spray with this 100-pound dog barreling down on him.  With this in mind, we purchased stun batons for ourselves, the Wise's, and their neighbors.  We hoped that we would never have to use them.

I attended the hearing last year along with the three other victims of this dog.  The dog was deemed Potentially Dangerous and he was returned to the owner with a laundry list of restrictions that she agreed to abide by. The main restriction was the dog could not be anywhere near the front yard without being tethered and without a muzzle.  A couple of months after the dog was returned to her, I started hearing rumblings in the neighborhood that the dog was seen without being on a leash or without a muzzle. My husband crossed paths with her once while walking Mindy and her dog was not muzzled.  I even heard that she changed the dog's name which I assumed was an attempt to change his identity.  Animal Control was suppose to microchip him before he was released to her, so I figured she could call him whatever she wanted to call him. His true identity was in that chip.

This past March 13th, my neighbor Mark and I were walking our dogs like we normally do when this dog fled out of the open garage and tried to attack us again. Without going into all of the details (it will be fully written about in my next book), Mark was able to fend off the attack with the stun baton. The protection we bought did its job.  Unfortunately he hurt his ankle in the melee, but no one got bit. It was a very close call. When I contacted animal control, I found out that she had reported the dog stolen within a few weeks of getting him back which explained the name change.

Last Thursday we were subpoenaed as witnesses in an Administrative hearing to determine if the dog should be deemed vicious and euthanized.  At this hearing, Mark and I testified as to what happened that night. Gregg also testified as to seeing her walk the dog without a muzzle.  The dog owner and her family seemed to have a hard time keeping up with their fabricated stories as to how the dog was stolen and it was a lookalike stray dog that tried to attack us. But wait, she stole her stolen dog back in April. It was evident that they went to extreme measures to not have to follow the restrictions that were placed on the dog.  The hearing officer wanted a few days to review all of the evidence, so we walked out of the hearing not sure which way the decision would go.

I found out this morning that the hearing officer decided in the favor of Animal Control and us.  The dog was deemed vicious and will be euthanized (although the dog owner may appeal).  I started shaking almost uncontrollably when I heard the news because at that moment I was full of what felt like a million emotions. Justice was finally served and the hearing officer found our testimony to be credible without bite marks or other witnesses.  This does make me sad for the dog because he could have had a decent life even with restrictions. It's obviously in his nature to attack other dogs if he is put in the position to do so.  It was his owner who placed him in that garage without being tethered. It was his owner who put him in the position to attack 5 times.  It was his owner who decided to lie and cheat her way out of the system .  It was his owner that will now cost this dog his life.  He is a victim too. A victim of an irresponsible dog owner.

But on the happy side, our neighborhood was made much safer today.

Until next time...
Dawn