Social media is all up-at-arms over the possible forced euthanization of two Port St Lucie, Florida, dogs that were taken into custody for barking.
I first became aware of the plight of Princess and Duke when PR Manager Allison Gower emailed me a link to a petition to save the dogs.
Immediately I was raging mad. What kind of evil entity is this Port St. Lucie local government anyway? Dogs being euthanized for barking?
But then I dug deeper.
While dog owner Stephanie Castro describes herself as fostering these two dogs, neither she nor anyone else seems to know who she’s fostering these dogs for.
And this is far from an isolated incident with Ms. Castro.
In August of this year, local animal control were called out when Duke and Princess were off-leash and barking at persons in the neighborhood. At that time, animal control deemed the dogs dangerous. Ms. Castro was required to put up a sign saying the dogs were dangerous, and the dogs were required to be on a leash and muzzled when outdoors.
Ms. Castro did not dispute the declaration.
Then last month neighbors called animal control back out. The problem? Ms. Castro violated the law by not having the dogs leashed and muzzled as required. The dogs were then taken into custody by animal control officers.
While Ms. Castro, the news media, and people like Gower have been effective at painting Castro and the dogs as innocent victims, they have conveniently left out key facts about the story, such as neighbors have called out local animal control officers to Ms. Castro’s home numerous times over the past TWO YEARS for her failure to keep her dogs leashed and under control. She has received numerous citations by local animal control officials (from Port St. Lucie government website).
Look, I’m as pro-dog as they come, but I absolutely refuse to support a woman who flagrantly violates local leash laws and puts other dogs and people at risk. It’s people like her that make things difficult for responsible dog owners like me.
So while I hope the dogs, if deemed non-aggressive, are not euthanized, I do not believe they should be returned to Ms. Castro’s care.