Making a case for the dogs in Connecticut

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Judging by an article I just found, the old saying about the wheels of justice turning slowly doesn’t just apply to people. It applies to animals as well.

In Connecticut, it specifically applies to “dangerous” dogs that are  “accused” of committing certain “crimes.” And as far as I am concerned, that’s just not right.

Alexandra Bogdanovic
Founder/owner of In Brief Legal Writing Services, Alexandra Bogdanovic. Photo by N. Bogdanovic

You see these dogs — which are often acting on instinct, or training rather than malice — face the ultimate penalty for their alleged actions. Yes, there is a “dog death penalty here.”

Don’t get me wrong. There are some cases in which such a policy is definitely warranted — and many where it isn’t. But that’s not the point.

The point of this particular post is to address a different but related matter; namely the amount of time the state can or should keep a “dangerous” dog in “custody” before it is euthanized.

Currently,  Connecticut “has no standards for determining when an animal should be euthanized, leaving it to the discretion of local animal control officers,” according to attorneys for a Connecticut dog owner whose Rottweilers have been living on what the media calls “a canine death row” for five years.

According to published reports, Kato and Kleo’s owner says they got out of their yard and bit a neighbor “only after they were attacked.” The state then ordered them to be put down.

Lawyers for plaintiffs in a recent federal class action lawsuit are now arguing that the lack of standards in such circumstances is a violation of dog owners’ rights. Specifically, they say it is “a violation of due process and an unreasonable seizure of property.”

I’m not a lawyer — but I happen to agree.

What do you think? Share your opinion in the comments section below.

 

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6 thoughts on “Making a case for the dogs in Connecticut

  1. This is a very good question Alex. It may all stem from the fact the parties were not able to solve for a safe outcome BEFORE litigation. If I’m reading this post correctly the dogs were seized after the incident and have been on “doggie death row” ever since. Connecticut could have served itself and the parties better if they opted 5 years ago to try mediating a solution among interested parties. Initially death would likely have been the answer. After being supported for their views the parties may have found a solution that served all, especially the state and the dogs. Wish they had called a mediator. Maybe they can now??
    Great question with so many possible answers if alternative dispute resolution and restorative process were used.

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    1. Thanks for your thoughts. Yes, I agree that it would be better if parties were willing to think outside the box in these cases. I must confess that I don’t know the specifics about the incident that resulted in these dogs being “incarcerated…” If it was an especially nasty one, the “authorities” may have felt they didn’t have any other choice. Or perhaps the parties involved didn’t know there were any other options, like mediation. Hopefully your comment will bring some awareness so these types of situations aren’t so common.

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