Saturday, August 14, 2010

Broward County One Strike Law

Broward County, Florida doesn't seem to like animals.

They make it as hard as possible to reclaim and adopt animals. If you don't jump through spiked, flaming hoops, then they just kill your microchipped dog and blame you.

Broward County also has a nifty law that could get your dog killed, even if your dog was not the true aggressor.

It's a 2008 law in response to a loose dog fatally wounding a loose cat. While cat owners were allowed to have low standards of responsibilities, dog owners had foisted upon them a draconian law that condemns dogs to death who kill other animals.

The law does not have exemptions, and two recent court cases show that.

Earlier this year, Gigi, a leashed 9-yr-old Labrador Retriever mix was being walked by her owners when an off-leash Yorkshire Terrier ran up to the dog. During the altercation, Gigi killed the Yorkshire Terrier.

In another case, Brandie, a Husky, was being walked on leash when an off-leash teacup Poodle ran up and barked aggressively at her. The dog bit the poodle and killed her.

Now both dogs are on death row because of the 2008 law, and their owners are fighting for their lives.

There are times when euthanasia is appropriate. There are times when gross negligence should be punished. There are times when a dog is so dangerous, they pose a threat to four and two legged creatures and should be placed in a sanctuary or responsible home or killed.

This is not those times. These are not those dogs. These are family pets who belong to responsible owners who followed the leash law. They are being held culpable for the irresponsible behavior of two small dog owners who, for whatever reason, allowed their dogs to run loose and approach, aggressively, larger dogs.

I hope the court rules in their favor. While I am saddened by the deaths of the smaller dogs, they would be alive today had two owners decided to leash their dogs. The owners following the law should not be held culpable.

No comments: