Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Dog Barking Case Ends With 30 Day Jail Sentence

Controversial Dog Barking Case Ends With 30 Day Jail Sentence

After 33 months, our highly controversial dog barking case has come to a close. On June 29th Recorders Court Judge Patricia Muise revoked the remaining two months of a twenty four month term sentencing me to serve 30 days in the Gwinnett Detention Center for failure to pay $473 in probation fees.

While I have complied with the court’s order of “bringing my property in compliance with all zoning issues that alone did not satisfy the judge. This case has long drifted from a case of barking dogs to an issue of inflicting punishment for what the court found was an isolated “three minute” incident of barking close to three years ago.

Citizens should be concerned why our court system saw fit to hold seven pretrial hearings, a full trial and six hearings attempting to revoke my probation. During the process the court awarded (and the taxpayers funded) three court appointed attorney’s including one who was assigned in an attempt by Sentinel Offender Services to collect $129 in “late probation fees”.

Obviously, the court fails to understand that there are citizens in our community who have been effected by the economic downturn. Judge Muise seems confused not only on interpreting the constitution but the real concerns about crime in our community.

In an era where citizens are being threatened loss of police, fire and emergency services our court found fit to expend thousands and thousands of dollars to force me into surrendering dogs to our local shelter where they would be greeted by employees all to ready to kill them. Do we really feel safer knowing the county was able to lock up a retired senior citizen who was found guilty of providing a safe haven for some old hound dogs that otherwise would be dead?

I always said I would go to jail before I would allow the county the county to kill even one of my hounds – so NOW I’ve served my time. The leash is off – no more threats – no more intimidation.

Those of us in rescue have long been the last line of defense for the senseless killing of our companion friends. We speak out for the voiceless suffering and silent screams that kills far too many innocent creatures in our county funded kill shelter. Each life lost is sacred and I will continue to speak out against the planned slaughter of our county's homeless pets.

Unfortunately for everyone who was involved in passing the draconian ordinance in the first place one of my beloved beagles, Bam-Bam was killed while I was being held prisoner by the county of Gwinnett. Had these "leaders" in our animal; welfare movement been diligent in their duty to protect pet owners from repressive laws that threaten our pets Bam-Bam would still be alive today.

In passing the 2007 Draconian Ordinance which granted the county solicitor with broad powers to threaten and intimidate pet owners and in granting false hearted judges like Muise with the power to punish any pet owner who opposed this senseless slaughter of our family pets the wheel was set in motion that lead to Bam-Bam's death.

I always said “you kill one of my dogs and that changes everything….” That changes everything – the muzzle comes off too.

Gwinnett County can NEVER give me back what the county has taken from me and the hounds. The loss of Bam-Bam was not only senseless but avoidable.

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