Ernest Dempsey — Think of pit bulls and the injustice done to them keeps pouring in from all around. A new case in Austin, Texas, caused the murdered of not one but three pit bulls of the same family; their crime being defending themselves against a loose dog that attacked them in a park.
As the story goes, the three dogs, belonging to one Christopher Joseph Grant, were taken to a park in Austin on September 6th for a training session by the owner. While the dogs – named Leo, Dawn, and Gorgo – were properly harnessed and leashed, trouble arrived when a dog, a terrier mix, that had gone off-leash, ran into the pit bulls, attacking them. As the pit bulls fought in self-defense, Grant says he found the owner of the loose dog kicking and punching the pit bulls; then tying Dawn, one of the pit bulls to a tree and beating her without trying to control his dog.
When the police arrived on the scene with an ambulance, Grant lay on the ground having an asthma attack while he had secured his pit bulls and the other person had also got his dog under control. But then, as happens in cases involving pit bulls, the animal control got to the pit bulls to seize them for being “off the leash” but when corrected by Grant, he said he would take them anyway. The pit bulls were taken to the City of Austin Animal Control while the loose dog attacking them and also biting Grant went home without getting a state-required quarantine for a week until Grant requested it.
According to Grant, he was told that the report of his bite by the off-leash dog was “lost” while there is a witness whose statement on record proves that the owner of the terrier mix was not bitten during the incident by any of the pit bulls. Grant tells he was not allowed to see his dogs since visiting them once at the shelter for a few minutes where Chris Noble, Deputy Chief Animal Control, told him “never to return to the property”. He says it was embarrassing to be mocked by the animal control staff for crying about his dogs and even accused of having “potentially dangerous items” in the donation bag he offered the Austin Animal Center.
The worst of all of course came when Leo, Dawn, and Gorgo were sentenced to death by a judge who heard the case and ignored all evidence supporting the harmlessness of the dogs as well ignoring the lack of evidence proving them dangerous. Being pit bulls accused of attack was considered enough to order the execution of the dogs who were well-trained, happy and peaceful family pets – two of them even certified NSAR emotional support animals. Defending themselves against an attack was all these dogs did. In the breedist context, this has been reckoned as crime. And for this, the animal control rushed on to execute them almost immediately after the judge’s decision. Like in many other cases, judicial justice in this case itself became a mockery of the word, leaving the owner devastated and animal right advocates shocked.
Feelings of helplessness always follow such cases of open victimization by the authorities since people knock on their doors when seeking justice; but where do you go when the final blow is made by those paid from people’s tax money to ruin the lives of citizens. Leo, Dawn, and Gorgo never got a fair trial; they were harmless; they were family. So why the murder?
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For updates on the case, visit the support page for the dogs on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/SaveLeoDawnAndGorgo?fref=ts.