Remember Bella? They still haven’t found her, but as far as I can tell, they are still looking. There is information about the trial up on the Bella page.
It still boggles my mind that part of the problem with prosecuting this piece of shit is that “from the standpoint of felony liability, the DA had to prove Animal Control had clearly made the defendant aware he had an aggressive dog, or prove it had bitten before. Regardless of what had happened in the previous attacks, Animal Control was not able to show they had clearly educated the defendant about the aggressive potential of his dog, even after 3 aggressive dog calls. “
If you decide to get a dog, I believe that by the very action of bringing a dog into your life, you are accepting the responsibility to educate yourself about your dog, it’s potential for damage and what you need to do to control it. If this “man” can’t be expected to know that his dog is aggressive and uncontrolled, then why isn’t he in diapers and a playpen with all the other people who can’t be expected to take responsibility for their actions?
Bella’s owners, Steve and Terri Belsley and their new rescue dog, Sammy, live in San Jose, but this is an issue that should unite responsible dog owners everywhere. I realize that judges have to operate within the law, but the point is that the law should never protect someone from being punished for not doing their duty by their dog.
What can we do about this? Off the top of my head, I can think of a few things: Take an active role in dog ownership in your community. Attend city meetings that concern dog owners and keep lobbying for stronger laws against irresponsible dog ownership. Support laws that focus on the owners, not the breed or type of dog involved – we cannot afford to have the finger pointing in any other direction other than the people who choose to own dogs and not care for them as they should be cared for.
Is there anything I’m missing? What else can we do or have done to protect ourselves and our dogs from malicious people who use their dogs as weapons?