On Friday night, a Broward County Humane Officer placed a visit to my house. I was cited for animal biting and expired tags. The first ticket costs $512 and the other about $140. I can choose to pay the fines or take it to court. So I have a court date on May 4th and the judge will decide.
You see, Harley bit another dog in the neighborhood, which resulted in the dog's death. Before you judge my dog to be aggressive or vicious, here are the facts:
- Harley was outside on a tethered leash
- The leash is contained in my backyard
- The Chihuahua was not leashed. He was "at large" as the humane officer put it.
- The Chihuahua lives four houses down
- The owners of the Chihuahua were not even outside with their dog
- The Chihuahua visits my sliding glass door almost every night antagonizing Harley.
- My direct neighbor also owns a Chihuahua, which Harley plays with all the time.
No one saw what happened exactly or why it happened. I can guarantee you Harley does not attack unprovoked. He is however, an animal and will attack to defend and protect himself, his property, and his family. I feel confident (as does the Humane Officer) that the judge will dismiss this case and I will most likely only need to pay for the expired tags fine.
The saddest part of this situation is that my neighbors' negligence was the cause of the inhumane suffering of their own dog. Maybe one day they will take responsibility for their neglect instead of pointing blame and accusing my dog of being vicious. Either way, I'm at ease with the outcome. If pointing blame helps them cope with their loss, so be it. Maybe lessons have been learned. I know I will be taking extra precautions with Harley.
Before I go, let me leave you with this:
I have new neighbors at work. A section of our floor is now being occupied by another department. It will be nice to have new faces, new noises, and some friendly interaction. Let's hope we can coexist peacefully.