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September 17, 2008

Broward Bite Law Hearing

From Siberian Husky Rescue:

   A hearing concerning “bite with injuries” citations will be held at 1 p.m. on  Friday, September 26 at the West Regional Courthouse. 100 N. Pine Island Road, Plantation, Room 240.

  Supporters and pet lovers, alike, are urged to attend the hearing which is open to the public. This hearing will be an important precursor to a lawsuit currently filed challenging
Broward County's inconspicuous new îDangerous Dog' ordinance, which slipped into effect earlier this year.
The lawsuit, filed Friday, September 5, 2008, was filed in Broward County Circuit Court on behalf of Julie Roberts, whose four Siberian Huskies were seized by Broward's Animal Control on August 25 after an altercation with a neighbor's dog allegedly caused the neighbor's dog's death.

   Robert's Huskies are being charged under Broward County's new 'Dangerous Dog' law which classifies any dog as dangerous if it kills another dog off of the owner's property, irrespective of
whether the offending dog has had any previous bite history or history of aggression.

   Current Florida law gives all dogs a second chance, but not according to Broward County's new amendment which stipulates that the first offense is no defense. The lawsuit claims that the
Broward County law is invalid because it conflicts with state law. The lawsuit states that under Florida law, 'a dog that has not been previously designated as dangerous may not be destroyed
unless it attacks and causes severe injury or death to a human.'

   None of the four Huskies in this case have ever been previously designated as dangerous, and therefore cannot be automatically destroyed for causing the death of another dog under Florida law. The lawsuit seeks to have the Broward County ordinance, which is subordinate to Florida law, declared invalid and the Huskies returned to their owner.

   The lawsuit additionally explains how Roberts' Huskies accidentally got out of her home and ran down the street. The Huskies came across a much smaller dog, and at some point during the encounter, the smaller dog died. It is unknown what actually caused the dog's death, and there is no indication that a necropsy of the dog has been performed.

   A total of five Huskies share the home with Ms. Roberts, Damien, the father (age five); Ivy, the mother (age three) and the puppies Champion, Dimberland and Chloe (all two years of
age). Damien was not involved in the incident and is home alone waiting for the return of the rest of his family.
If you would like to help in Roberts' fight or learn more about the pending lawsuit and how it affects all animal lovers within Broward County, Roberts' attorney, Jason M. Wandner will be featured as part of Charlie Kaufman's, Kaufman and Company show on WDNA's 88.9 FM Public Radio, Wednesday, September 17 at 11 a.m. Supporters can call into the show at 1-866-688-WDNA (9362) and can also log onto savethehuskies.com to learn more about Roberts' pet family and to sign the Save the Huskies petition.

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