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Is this fair?

November 23, 2016
Pine Island Eagle

To the editor:

So it seems, our Animal Control officers have a "wide" range of discretion when responding to complaints. I know this because one of my dogs left my yard to greet another dog walker, who happened to have unsocialized, aggressive dogs. My dog, a bull mastiff rescue, was ticketed for "off leash" and "menacing or threatening dog" (due to his size, not demeanor). His first "offense." I observed this interaction occur and he simply was going to greet them. Just three weeks prior, this man reported another "attack" on his dogs when a pit bull left his yard and that owner was given a "verbal" warning.

Because I take great pride in my dog's behavior, I did not want him labeled inappropriately, and entered a plea of "no contest/not guilty."

The presiding judge disregarded my explanation and found my dog guilty of "off leash and menacing or threatening dog." In lieu of a fine, I requested community service at an animal shelter, which was granted.

I am now doing my "crime time" and, I have to say, it is the most rewarding project (aside from fostering numerous dogs with a rescue org.) that I have come across. Was this situation fair? Obviously not! However, I will make lemonade out of lemons!

Debra Peterson

Cape Coral

 
 

 

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