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September 02, 2008

New Broward County Bite Law Imperils Four Beloved Pets

This is from South Florida Siberian Husky Rescue - but everyone with a dog should take heed:

A new law recently set forth by Broward County Animal Control,
and still largely unknown by many law-enforcement representatives
and the general public, is threatening to be the catalyst for
killing four Siberian Huskies who are currently being held at
Broward County Animal Control. The Huskies are scheduled to be
îîhumanely euthanized'' within the next 10 days.

   The four Siberian Huskies, all tagged, spayed, up-to-date on
shots, with no previous bite history or history of aggressive
behavior and with an identified owner, Julie Roberts, were named
responsible for the death of a neighborhood dog in Miramar on
Aug. 25.

   While law enforcement representatives arrived and stated they
would not be removing the dogs from their home, Broward County
Animal Control representatives showed up and stated that due to a
new law, labeled as îîDangerous Dogs: Section 4-12,'' the dogs
would be quarantined and euthanized within 10 days.

   This new law seemed to îîslip'' into effect on May 20, without
much discussion or public awareness, and stipulates that no
clemency will be given for first-time offenders, regardless of
the mitigating circumstances (whether a death or incident is
accidental, etc.).

   The dogs in question will be euthanized unless their owner,
Julie Roberts, can come up with a $500 cash deposit bond per dog
to schedule an appeal. In addition, she will also be required to
pay the boarding expenses for each dog for the length of time
they were held at Broward County Animal Control.

   The hearts of the representatives from the South Florida
Siberian Husky Rescue Inc. (SFSHRI) go out to all of those
involved with the recent incident, though they feel strongly that
the death of one animal does not justify the intentional killing
of other animals.

   However, as saddened as we are that this particular incident
involves Siberian Huskies, we must not lose sight of the bigger
picture: This new law is NOT breed specific; it applies to each
and every dog living in Broward County.

   Every dog owner in Broward County needs to be made aware of
this legislation and needs to understand that their dog is now
subject to this new law.

   Furthermore, the general public also needs to realize that the
new law does not allow for second chances and first-time
offenders with no prior incident record will be not be granted
any leniency.

   SFSHRI representative, Bobbie Weinstein, ""hopes that this
current incident will not unnecessarily label the Siberian Husky
breed as dangerous,'' and "encourages Broward County Animal
Control to look at the total situation and make a decision based
on what is best in this particular situation, not one based on
the emotions of the moment or an elusive new law.

   "There are many options available to Broward County Animal
Control other than the ultimate death of these four, cared-for
and loved, pets,'' said Weinstein. "Furthermore, we have
requested that the dogs in question be turned over to our rescue
group so they will be well-cared for until a final disposition is
reached.''

   For more information on this new law and how it will affect
you and your pet, please go directly to the Broward County Animal
Control website at
http://www.broward.org/animal/ani01700.htm#Dangerous.

The REALLY scary part is this  - part of the new "dangerous dog'' definition:

''A dog that when unprovoked approaches a person in a menacing fashion or with an attack attitude.''

Now, I'm not a lawyer, but that seems pretty darn vague to me. Does this mean a growl? A bark with flattened ears? A jerk on the leash in the direction of a passerby? I hope that someone tests the legality of this definition in time to save the dogs that might fall victim to it. And I sure hope folks will help Julie Roberts and her Huskies.

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heres a comment. There was discussion. not many people cared or bothered to show up. I know after my experiance in palm beach county when i had people calling me a dog killer for wanting Nathan Winograd to come and put together an expert committee to help develop countu wide educational program -i'll repeat that- a dog killer i'm very hesitent to show up at any of these things. I know the people that went to discuss- the message was put out there and no one seemed to care.
This new ordinence in Broward is preposterous and until our community can give up thier litte pieces of the universe and come together as one big voice=we're not screwed-the dogs are

The rest of the United States are watching you, Florida, and we're disgusted. Why do you continue to allow Broward County to have these preposterous laws? Your state ends up looking silly and pathetic.
~A dog owner in Massachusetts

I'm moving out of Broward. I can't run the risk of someone pointing a finger at one of beloved family members...she's a rescue dog and barks agressively at people she doesn't know - under this law she could be taken away and put to sleep.

This is a travesty and my heart goes out to the owner of the sibes.

I'm moving out of Broward. I can't run the risk of someone pointing a finger at one of beloved family members...she's a rescue dog and barks agressively at people she doesn't know - under this law she could be taken away and put to sleep.

This is a travesty and my heart goes out to the owner of the sibes.

If these dogs killed another dog, they must be killed or kept in a locked kennel. It isn't fair to other dog owners.

How would you feel to watch a pack of dogs kill your dog?

What is the whole story here? Were they attacking or playing too rough? Big dogs can hurt little dogs in play, but that doesn't make them aggressive. And condemn all 4 to death on the first offense? A fine yes; maybe a "dangerous dog" designation even, but euthanasia is going too far.

Someone please help! My dogs are now in a similar situation. My neighbors dog was in my yard aggravating my 2 dogs, while being provoked one of my dogs pushed the gate open and escaped. The two dogs began to fight in my yard, unforunatly the other dog, a yokie did not make it. I am at my wits end!!! They claim it was in thier yard when it was not. After seeing my dog escape I ran out and stopped the fight, my dog let go instantly however I have a stafford shire terrir and she is 66 lbs and the other dog was very small. This was a horrible accident but with the new law they will put my dogs down since the neighbors cant seem to get their story straight. We are talking a matter of inches, now how can they kill them for a matter of inches. If anyone knows a good attorney that can help me I would be very interested. These are my kids and taking them away is wrong. I feel horrible about what happened and paid all the expenses for the vet. The neighbors have even claimed it was not our fault and the Animal Control has even said they are not dangerous but with the nighors constanly changing their story my dogs still sit on DEATH ROW. Please help me save my dogs!!!

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