Ernest Dempsey — Asking for an end to death penalty, even for the most reckless terrorist, but not sparing a dog’s life if one happens to accidentally injure a child – such is human justice coming to. The case of Junior, a 2-year-old Akita dog in Fremont, California, is the current example of this attitude. Junior has been declared ‘dangerous’ by the local animal control, without bothering to let a canine expert assess the dog, after he bit a 9-year-old girl who, in an unusual guise, approached the little boy of Junior’s owner.
It was on 4th August that owner’s niece entered the owner’s gated front yard wearing a wig and a cape and ran towards the front door of the house where Junior and the owner’s 5-year old son stood along with Junior. The dog’s defensive instincts came into play and he intercepted the girl, biting her, and resulting in injuries that were not serious as the girl was released to go home after necessary treatment in a few hours. Though the officer on scene from the City of Fremont Police Department allowed Junior to remain in the custody of the owner and told her that animal control would call within a few days to get copies of Junior’s vaccination records, the City of Fremont’s Tri-City Animal Control contacted the owner by phone and asked her to bring Junior to the shelter for a 10-day quarantine.
At the animal control office, the owner was asked to sign papers for relinquishing her ownership rights to Junior. Nervous and feeling pressured, the owner signed the papers, though she asked more than once why she had to give the dog’s ownership over to the animal control. At that time, Junior already was in their custody, literally. According to sources close to the incident, the officer at the counter told the owner that the (Tri-City Animal Shelter) had the right to take ownership of him regardless of whether she signed the form or not. There was no practicable option available to her to handle it except signing the papers.
Soon afterwards, the animal control declared Junior dangerous, despite the fact that there have been no prior incidents or any cause for concern that would prove the dog as “vicious” or dangerous. The incident, as it is reported by sources familiar with the case, was just an accident occurring on the owner’s property where Junior jumped to defend its owner, not knowing about the human taste for experimenting with new dresses. Ordinarily, no one would be considered blameworthy if it had been an accident involving two humans. But here one of the party involved happens to be a defenseless dog who, according to city law also has no right to a judicial review of the animal control’s decision, now risks losing his life by euthanasia – or being killed, in plain words. Is Junior not as innocent as the 9-year-old girl who didn’t know her unfamiliar dress and playful movement would arouse the dog’s defensive instinct.
A Passion for Paws Akita Rescue, a Southern-California based rescue, is currently ready to take Junior in and The Lexus Project is filing an appeal to the court for a judicial review. The Tri-City Animal Control’s “dangerous” label for Junior falls short of justice in every sense. Only a canine behavior expert or a certified dog trainer should have the authority to assess the dog objectively and decide whether or not it is a dangerous one. Labeling Junior as dangerous shortly after taking his custody, and that under psychological pressure, without a fair trial of the case, amounts to ridiculing justice. Junior deserves a second chance and his supporters hope that he won’t become another victim in the ongoing madness targeting both pet and stray dogs across the country.
Updates on Junior’s case will be available at his facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Save-JuniorOso/440803375942104?skip_nax_wizard=true. Media inquiries about the case go to firstname.lastname@example.org.