Justice For Hank
  • Petitioned St. Joseph County Council
  • Responded

This petition was delivered to:

St. Joseph County Council
Director of St. Joseph Humane Society
Dr. Carol Ecker D.V.M.
See response
State Sen. John Broden

Justice For Hank

    1. Petition by

      Jenny Dawson

      lafayette, IN

This is a story about Hank Plotts a lovely Pitbull/Husky mix puppy who was not even a year old yet, and his father Craig Plotts from Mishawaka, Indiana an Iraq War Veteran. We hope this story moves you and that you will help us fight for the JUSTICE Hank deserves!

Craig had always wanted his own dog, and after he returned home from Iraq he decided to buy a house and finally get a dog.  He ended up getting Hank, a beautiful PitBull/Husky mix.  Unfortunately, Craig lives in St. Joseph County where currently there is Breed Specific Legislation also known as BSL. In this county the law states all owners of any dangerous or Pit Bull-like dog requires a number of things including hold a current license, be microchipped, hold a $300,000 minimum liability insurance policy, and if the dog is not in a kennel, any time it's outside, even if it is in a private fenced-in backyard it MUST be muzzled. More rules not listed are located in chapter 90 of the Saint Joseph County, IN Code of Ordinances.

Hank was in his own backyard and was not muzzled at night, Craig's neighbor videotaped Hank during the night. It was so dark they had to use a bright flashlight to even see Hank! The neighbor walked the fence in the dark getting Hank all upset and shining the light in his eyes. Hank was just simply protecting his property as ANY of our dogs would do. Due to the neighbor taunting him, Hank was biting the fence and barking, something ANY dog would do, and the neighbor said Hank was being "aggressive" he threatened to turn the video into the Humane Society because Hank wasn't muzzled.

Apparently he followed through with his threat. Craig was given a citation about the dog being in the fenced in backyard and not muzzled.  There was court hearing in which Craig was not properly informed about due to the late hours he works at Memorial Hospital as a Medical Technician. The Humane Society notified Animal Control who then came to Craig's house and took Hank away from his home. The Humane Society held the poor puppy and would not let Craig get him back. With the help of a lawyer he even tried to delay the euthanization date and even found a licensed 501c3 agency in Middlebury, IN willing to take Hank. The Humane Society still refused to give Hank up. They refused to even work with or talk to the agency. Hank was put to sleep on 5/21/12, and even worse news to come! Craig wanted to put his baby to rest with a burial and try to get some closure about this situation, but the St. Joseph County Humane Society would NOT even release Hank's lifeless body, not even to the Palmer funeral home.

This story is horrific and unjust. Please show your support for Hank and his owner Craig. We can not let this injustice pass by and nothing be done about it. THIS COULD HAPPEN TO ANYONE!  Hank was a beautiful and VERY friendly dog, as you can see in his pictures on facebook.    

We need to work together to repeal BSL in St. Joseph County. BSL in St. Joseph County has breed restrictions against pitbulls and pitbull-like dogs. These regulations have a negative impact on the community because it applies only to dogs of a certain appearance, not to any and all dogs. It does not take into account how the owner has raised, trained, or managed the dog. It does not take into account the dog’s actual behavior. JUDGE THE DEED, NOT THE BREED!

The resignation of Dr. Ecker will help save the lives of many animals killed by her unlawful euthanization, and bring some justice to Hank Plotts. Hank was murdered by Dr. Ecker unjustly and we will not stand down until something is done to protect our animals especially our Pitbulls. It is a conflict of interest for Dr. Ecker to function as a Director at the Humane Society and a Veterinarian. Please help us fight for justice for Hank!

Dr. Ecker has been an influential part in bringing BSL to St. Joseph County. Please help us and spread the word about this before it happens again!

Facebook Page: Facebook.com/JusticeForHankThePitBull

News Article: http://www.abc57.com/home/top-stories/Pit-bull-owner-Dog-shouldnt-have-died-for-my-mistakes-152433075.html

Recent signatures


    1. Decision-maker Dr. Carol Ecker D.V.M. responds:

      Dr. Carol Ecker D.V.M.

      Please get the entire story before signing something like this. No one mentioned the little
      girls who were being threatened
      by Mr. Plotts actions toward them by his dog.

    2. Reached 10,000 signatures
    3. Justice for Hank social media updates!

      Jenny Dawson
      Petition Organizer

      We now have a twitter @justiceforhank please show your support on there and use hash tag #justiceforhank
      Follow us on instagram as well! @justiceforhank
      And if you have any information that can help us with this fight you should email us at justiceforhankthepitbull@gmail.com

    4. Reached 1,000 signatures
    5. Petition Letter

      Jenny Dawson
      Petition Organizer

      Please print off the petition letter and send or fax it to:
      County Council of St. Joseph County
      County City Building Room 411
      South Bend, IN 46601
      Phone: (574) 235 9658
      Fax: (574) 235 5022
      Humane Society of St. Joseph County
      2506 Grape Road · Mishawaka, IN 46545
      574-255-4726 · Fax: 574-255-4767

    6. News Article for Hank's Story

      Jenny Dawson
      Petition Organizer

      You can read this article from ABC 57 about Hank's story click the link below and it will take you right to the story.

    7. please go like Hank's page

      Jenny Dawson
      Petition Organizer

      Help spread the word about this injustice! Facebook.com/justiceforhankthepitbull


    Reasons for signing

    • Jimmy Hernandez BARRE, MA
      • 9 months ago

      This is important to me because I have pitbulls and god forbid anyone was to come to my house and try to take my dogs! They would protect my life with their own and I would gladly do the same. They are the best breed of dog and my six year old son would tell you the same I have four children and all of them have a pitbull whether they live with me or not. It is not the breed of dog you have but the way you raise them!! I don't have a single dog that is humane aggressive but believe me when I say you come to take my dogs from me and I sure will be!!!

    • Carlotta Watson GRANGER, IN
      • 10 months ago

      Carol Ecker is NOT a friend to animals. She only allows 3 pets per home whether you live in a studio apartment or live in a mansion on 20 acres. Adoptions are DOWN because of her!!! This story does not surprise me. She has no heart.

    • Krista Moody MCCORDSVILLE, IN
      • 11 months ago

      I have rescued shelter pitties and they are the sweetest, most fun-loving dogs I have ever had the privilege of having in my family. They are proof that love heals all things...

    • Valerie Avent RIVERVALE,PERTH W.A. 6103, AUSTRALIA
      • about 1 year ago

      Justice For Hank.

    • Rachel Sturgeon BLOOMINGTON, IN
      • about 1 year ago

      I own a Doberman Pinscher and currently not able to find an apartment without a threat of my dog being taken away from me because of breed restrictions.


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