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Thread: Doggy Death Row

  1. #1
    Heidi's Avatar
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    Oct 2010

    Doggy Death Row

    Broward commissioners move to re-write dog death penalty law

    Broward commissioners made a move Tuesday night that could save the life of Brandie, a Husky on the county's death row for dogs.

    They said they want to re-visit their strict dangerous dog ordinance, to make it more like the state's.

    Click here for a memory refresher on this.

    Brandie was on a retractable leash when she killed Jack, a teacup poodle in Coconut Creek. She was sentenced to die under Broward's 2008 dangerous dog law. She's one of many; most of them are now dead, but a few had their euthanasia stayed because their owners filed legal action.

    Broward's law, championed by former Commissioner Ken Keechl, allows one attack only before a dog is declared dangerous and can be put to sleep. Under the state version of the law, which allows two attacks before a dog is declared dangerous, Brandie would not be sentenced to die.

    Brandie's friends and family were hoping the governor would pardon her. But a pardon might not be necessary.

    "I don't think the county should be in the dog execution business,'' new Commissioner Chip LaMarca said.

    Meanwhile, the county confirmed to me today that it has put 56 peoples' dogs to sleep after declaring them dangerous under the new law. Only two sit on "death row" awaiting legal decisions, Lisa Mendheim at animal control told me, saying they were Brandie and GiGi. I've been told there's at least one additional dog on Broward's death row, though: A dog named Mercedes who has been locked up in Deerfield since November 2008, the lawyer for that family says. He's expecting a court ruling in that case any day now.

    Vice Mayor John Rodstrom brought up the issue, saying it wasn't fair and that the law in practice does not make sense.

    "I think you’ve got to get this dog out,’’ Rodstrom said of Brandie.

    He suggested the county require dangerous dog owners to post a bond and take the dog home.

    The issue will be back in January. Meanwhile, Brandie's owners are paying $14 a day to board her in Sunrise. That's about $420 a month. She won't be put to death in the meantime, the county said.

    "I think there is certainly an interest in getting away from where we are now,'' interim county attorney Andrew Meyers said Tuesday night. He said county staff also supports returning to state law.

  2. #2
    G'day mate!

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    Dec 2010
    I'm speechless Heidi! You seriously have 'Doggie Death Row'? Wow, over here there's nothing like that, a dog that attacks a human is put to sleep immediately, but a dog attacking another dog - virtually never.

  3. #3
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    Oct 2010
    Texas capitol revokes death penalty for homeless animals

    In a state well known for using the death penalty, its capitol, Austin, will be sparing its homeless pets the same fate. They want to become one the first metropolitan No Kill cities in the nation. For those not familiar with the No Kill movement, this means that they want 90% or more of all animals impounded in its animal shelters, including its open admission shelter, to leave alive.

    Last March, the city council took its first step towards this goal by passing the No Kill implementation plan. Last October the city started actively working on the plan and last month, the city almost reached its goal. It had an astounding 88% live release rate. Yesterday, the city took its biggest step yet towards this goal, they hired Abigail Smith as the new chief animal services officer.

    Smith, who is scheduled to start March 15th, brings a wealth of experience to Austin. For the past four years, she has served as the executive director for Tompkins County SPCA in Ithaca, N.Y. This open admission shelter has been a No Kill shelter for the past decade. While she was leading this agency, Smith focused on animal control contracts, spay/neuter programs and fundraising. She implemented a comprehensive shelter medicine program with the help of Cornell University’s College of Veterinary Medicine Program, secured funding for the Trap Neuter Release (TNR) program for feral cats, expanded humane education, and created or strengthened partnerships with civic organizations and animal rescue groups.

    Additionally, Smith is nationally recognized for her work on animal welfare issues and has presented in numerous conferences. Last August she spoke at the national No Kill Conference about the “90 Percent Club: Sustaining No Kill in an Open Admissions Shelter.” She was chosen after a nationwide search and an extensive interview process.

    Source: KXAN Austin News

  4. #4
    Heidi's Avatar
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    Oct 2010
    I have followed Brandie's case more closely than that of any human (term used loosely) death row inmate.


    By Brittany Wallman January 25, 2011 08:00 AM

    Broward County commissioners will be caught in a big tug-of-war today, as dog lovers plead for or against changing a dangerous dog law that's on the books.

    I'll post my most recent story about this on the jump, explaining the proposed new law. Commissioners will decide whether to drop the zero tolerance aspect, which allowed the county to euthanize dogs after one attack or kill on a domesticated pet.

    The new law on the table for a vote would protect dogs from being put down until they’ve attacked twice.

    The zero tolerance law in place now drew community outcry and lawsuits when it doomed pets whose owners said they didn't deserve to die. Supporters of the highly publicized dog Brandie will be on hand today to fight to change the law. Brandie was sentenced to die for killing a poodle. Brandie was leashed; the poodle wasn't.

    Marbles, pictured above, was killed by pit bulls a couple
    weeks ago, her owner Natalie Cooke says. That family's
    Dachshund also met his end that day.The Cookes plan to speak out today in favor of keepingthe law the way it is.

    The family of the cat you're looking at will be on hand, too, to fight on the other side. A pack of pit bulls tore her apart two weeks ago, and this family wants the strict law to stay in place.

    Tuesday’s proposal is closer to state law, and to the law Broward County itself had until 2008. The relatively new strict law resulted in the euthanasia deaths of 56 dogs, the vast majority of them pit bulls or Rottweilers.

    Public input is allowed; the hearing is at the 2 p.m. meeting at the Broward County Governmental Center, 115 S. Andrews Ave. in Fort Lauderdale, in Room 422. Watch live at or on some public access Cable channels. The meeting starts at 2 p.m. but there are a few other items ahead of it.

    Here's a county fiscal impact statement about it.

    Broward's dangerous dog law could be loosened Tuesday

  5. #5
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    Oct 2010
    County Gives Dangerous Dogs a Second Leash on Life

    Pooches in Broward County will get a second chance to stay off doggie death row after commissioners voted to change the county's strict "one bite and you're out" dangerous dog law.

    Despite some emotional pleas from concerned pet owners, commissioners voted unanimously Tuesday to change the standard for a dangerous dog to two attacks.

    Under the change, a dog wouldn't be euthanized until after a second attack, which is the law in Florida.

    Some dogs could still be put down after the first bite, but only if they attack and severely injure a human. The law is more lenient if the dog attacks another pet, which angered some at the public hearing.

    Natalie Cooke, whose cat and dog were viciously attacked by a pack of roving dogs, complained that the law protects dangerous animals instead of the pets and pet owners who follow the rules.

    But many pet owners and animal activists have been critical of the old law, particularly after a deadly confrontation last year involving two Broward dogs.

    Husky mix Brandie had been put on doggie death row for killing Jack, a 3-pound poodle, during a confrontation last May.

    Owner Lon Lipsky said Brandie was on a leash, and that she's harmless and was provoked when the small poodle came running towards her without a leash on. Jack's owners said he didn't provoke Brandie.

    After months on doggie death row, Brandie was finally released from a kennel in December.

    Over 50 dogs have been killed since the tougher law went into effect.

    Commissioner Chip LaMarca, who got commissioners to agree to ask the county attorney to draft more lenient options, said in December that the law is too harsh.

    "I don't think the county should be in the dog execution business," he said.

  6. #6
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    Oct 2010
    Broward's last death-row dog, Mercedes, wins appeal

    Broward County's old dog death-penalty ordinance was kicked to the curb a final time Wednesday, when a state appeals court ruled it conflicted with state law and could not be enforced against a dog who'd been ordered euthanized after a single fatal attack on another animal.

    As a result of the ruling, Mercedes, a pit bull who broke loose from her yard and killed a neighbor's cat, will be freed from a kennel where she's been held while the case played out.

    "I think it's fantastic," said Ken Sladkin, Mercedes' co-owner. "It means no county can go beyond state law, and it means the dog gets a second chance."

    Said Jason Wandner, the attorney who fought for Mercedes: "The owners wanted this ruling not only for Mercedes, but also for dogs all over the state. This gives dog owners throughout Florida protection from counties going their own way."

    "Makes me feel better that we changed the ordinance," said Broward Commissioner Chip LaMarca, who led an effort to repeal the controversial "one-bite-and-you're-out" provision last month.

    The county ordinance now more closely mirrors state law, with dogs that attack animals given multiple chances and restrictions before being euthanized.

    Dogs that maim humans are subject to death on their first offense.

    "The ruling is wrong," said Stan Peters, owner of victim cat Slugger, who said Mercedes had previously attacked other animals in his Fort Lauderdale neighborhood. "With Mercedes' history, it's going to happen again."

    Sladkin said he intends to bring Mercedes to his Tampa area home, where his godson Brian Hoesch now lives. Hoesch lived in Fort Lauderdale when the November 2008 attack took place.

    "We have a pen in my house, we're ready to take him home," said Sladkin, who said he spent thousands of dollars in legal fees and boarding fees while fighting to save Mercedes.

    In its ruling, the Fourth District Court of Appeals in West Palm Beach said that Broward did not have the right to enact a stricter definition of a "dangerous dog" than the Legislature: "Broward County does not have a free hand in the area of animal control...By requiring the destruction of a dog that has killed a single animal, Broward has vitiated the (Legislature's) framework for dealing with dog attacks..."

    Of 56 "dangerous dogs" put down under the strict county ordinance, in place from 2008 until last month, 39 killed other animals.

    It's unclear what recourse those 39 dog owners might have.

    "Obviously the ruling can never bring back a life," said Wandner. "I imagine the owners of those dogs killed may have a claim for some relief."

    Interim Broward County Attorney Andrew Meyers said, "If claims are raised, we'll analyze and address them expeditiously."

    The old ordinance, championed by former commissioner Ken Keechl, came under fire last year after two death-penalty cases involving dogs that had freak confrontations with smaller dogs while being walked on leashes.

    The county released those dogs -- Brandie and Gigi -- after owners agreed to restrictions, including wearing muzzles outside and posting dangerous dog signs at their homes.

    Mercedes' case didn't provoke as much sympathy (Sladkin said the dog got loose after a landscaper left a gate open), but legally it turned out to be just as strong.

    Bottom line: No matter how well-intentioned, a county can only stray so far from state law.

    "Ultimately, we can't make every dog owner more responsible, but we should make people think twice before they walk their dog without a leash or allow them to roam around neighborhoods," said LaMarca.

  7. #7
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    Oct 2010
    Euthanized puppy back from the dead

    A puppy named Wall-e has become symbol of hope for shelter pets on death row.

    The young dog was one of five stray dogs left at an Oklahoma animal shelter last week.

    The animal control officer who found the dogs crated outside the facility in Sulphur, Okla., said the animals were sick, so he opted to put them down.

    The lethal injections (two for each dog) apparently failed to work on one pup; he was found alive and well the next day in the Dumpster where the officer had placed the supposedly dead animals.

    "He was prancing around. He heard me drive up, and he looked up and saw me," said animal control officer Scott Prall on Wednesday.

    Prall took Wall-e to veterinarian technician Amanda Kloski.

    Kloski noted the dog's survival on a pet adoption website, drawing the attention of Marcia Machtiger of Pittsburgh, who donated $100 so Kloski could board the dog for a week.

    A girl from Sulphur, named the puppy Wall-e, after a Disney movie character, and Machtiger posted Wall-e's story on her Facebook page.

    She and Kloski are sorting through hundreds of e-mails and phone calls from people wanting to adopt the lucky dog.

    "So many people are interested," Kloski said. "Now we're going through and trying to find the adoption applications for the best home."

    Wall-e will be placed in a foster home at the end of the week while the search for a permanent home continues. Both Kloski and Machtiger said they have never seen so many people want to adopt one animal.

    Machtiger said people are interested in the puppy because his story is unique.

    "Having been euthanized basically twice. … It's a resurrection and a will to live and a medical anomaly," she said.

    The Humane Society of the United States estimates that out of 8 million pets that enter the animal shelter system every year 3 to 4 million of them are euthanized.

  8. #8
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    Oct 2010
    Molly the dog to be euthanised

    Aunty Frances Gala and her family say their last goodbyes to Molly, who will be euthanised on Monday.

    THE family of Molly the dog on death row was given one last chance to say goodbye to the beloved pet yesterday as council officers prepared to carry out the outstanding destruction order on Monday.

    Flanked by her niece, daughter and grandchildren, Aunty Frances Gala made her final trip to the council’s pound to spend 30 minutes with the great dane whose fate was finally decided this week.

    Her niece, Eileen Clarke, spoke on behalf of the family.

    “It’s going to absolutely kill us to lose her,” Ms Clarke said.

    “She’s like a human – a member of our family.”

    Molly was impounded in March last year after she was found on the grounds where a flock of sheep had been mauled at Glendyne Farm.

    Her co-accused was euthanised immediately but as no blood was found on Molly and her home was at neighbouring Scrub Hill, controversy has surrounded her capture and fate ever since.

    Lawyers from the Aboriginal Torres Strait Islander Legal Service left no stone unturned and represented Mrs Gala at several Queensland Civil Arbitrations Tribunal hearings but when a final appeal for clemency was rejected this week the family was forced to accept the inevitable.

    In the past they have only been allowed to look at Molly through the fence but yesterday were allowed to play with and hug her.

    Mrs Gala’s husband “Poppy” will be holding Molly when she is euthanised and the family will take Molly back to her old home for burial.

    “We’re taking her back to the hill,” Ms Clarke said.

    “That’s where she belongs.”

  9. #9
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    Veterans team up to rescue pound puppies from death row

    United States veterans suffering from brain injuries or post-traumatic stress disorder and dogs who were on "doggy death row" and considered unadoptable have found comfort in one another.

    "The dogs are from the streets, just like the men and women we work with," said Rachel Feldstein of New Directions, a veteran advocate group that helps aid the project.

    "He's a lover, he's just so great," said veteran Sonny Patrick of her dog, Sarge.

    Patrick struggled with alcohol and homelessness after serving in the Marines, and says veterans haven't always been taken care of after returning home.

    Feldstein says veterans participating in Operation Heroes report a 35 percent increase in life satisfaction.

    The dogs are saved from being euthanized.

    "It's remarkable to see these guys helping the dogs so much, and in return, the dogs just love them to pieces," said Tamara Geller of Operation Hero.


  10. #10
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    Oct 2010
    Staunton ending death penalty for dogs

    STAUNTON VA— Canine romps through Staunton cemeteries can no longer send dogs to an early grave.

    The Staunton City Council on Thursday agreed to remove the death penalty as a punishment for dogs wandering the final resting places of the deceased.

    A previous version of the law made pooches' cemetery trespass, in effect, a capital offense for which a convicted dog could pay the ultimate price.

    Now, the owner of the offending dog will be fined — $25 for a first offense, $50 for a second and $150 for another. The ordinance change also includes an exception for cemeteries open to dog visitation.

    As councilors considered the change, the city attorney said he was unaware of any canine executions carried out carried out for even the gravest cemetery trespass.

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