Urge the Legislature to Declare September 7, Louis the Pit Bull Day in Alabama

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On May 28, 2018, Alabama and the world lost a beacon for change in the fight against animal cruelty when Louis Vuitton the Pit Bull passed away from terminal cancer.  Louis’ parents, William and Dee Oliver Hartley, reside in Wetumpka, Alabama and are avid animal right’s activists and rescuers. To honor the legendary Louis while simultaneously bringing comfort to the Hartley family and raising awareness for animal cruelty, I humbly implore the legislature to declare September 7, Louis the Pit Bull Day in Alabama.

In September 2007, Louis, was the victim of an unimaginably sadistic act of violence perpetrated by Juan Daniels in Montgomery, Alabama. Following an argument with his mother, Juan Daniels tied Louis to a fence and began beating him with a stick. When the stick broke, Juan Daniels opted to continue beating Louis with the blade end of a shovel causing lacerations to his face and head. Finally, Juan Daniels doused Louis with accelerant and lit him on fire.  Louis was tethered so tightly to the fence that he was unable to move and therefore forced to stand amid the flames as they cooked his bare, unprotected flesh. Louis’ agony was so intense that he tried to chew off his leg to separate himself from the excruciating pain of the burning flames.

Emergency responders notified the Montgomery Humane Shelter and Officer Matthew Cooper was dispatched. Officer Cooper transported Louis to a nearby veterinarian’s office to be euthanized; however, Louis’ greeted staffers with a fierce, wagging tail. Louis’ fighting spirit convinced the clinic to abandoned euthanasia in lieu of life saving measures. Louis suffered burns to over 70 percent of his body along with deep muscle injuries from his desperate attempt to gnaw off his leg and a tooth extraction made necessary by one of the shovel strikes. Eventually, Louis made a full recovery and he was adopted by the Hartley family. The Hartley family provided him with the best home imaginable and together they have made several appearances to promote awareness for animal abuse and raise funds for animal shelters and rescue organizations. Louis also appeared in the documentary entitled, “A Dog Named Gucci” which chronicled Gucci’s animal cruelty case and the fight to make animal cruelty a felony in the state of Alabama.

 Juan Daniels was the first animal abuser convicted under Alabama’s Pet Protection Act commonly known as “Gucci’s Law” and he was sentenced to 9.5 years imprisonment in the Alabama Department of Corrections. In August 2010, Juan Daniels was denied parole after an online petition containing thousands of signatures from around the world protesting his release was presented and Louis himself appeared before the parole board making him the first canine victim in United States history to participate in the parole process. In 2015, after his release from prison, Juan Daniels drove his vehicle into an apartment building killing a six-year-old boy. The investigation concluded that Juan Daniels had targeted his stepson with the vehicle following a physical altercation between the two. On May 23, 2018, Juan Daniels was convicted of capital murder and attempted murder and will serve a mandatory life sentence for the capital murder charge due to the victim being under the age of 14. The iconic Louis Vuitton passed away peacefully five days later, on May 28, 2018. 

In conclusion, I strongly encourage the Alabama legislature to cement the legacy of it’s native son by declaring September 7, Louis the Pit Bull Day in Alabama.

 



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