Justice for Reese - Petition to protect the residents of Casselberry and Seminole County
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First let me say, I am a dog lover. Second, let me say that I have loved living in Casselberry. But some things need to change and residents here NEED to be aware. This past Sunday evening, my little dog Reese, was coming back from a walk in Secret Lake Park. She was on her leash and one door away from home when she was viciously attacked and killed by 2 large dogs. This attack was completely unprovoked. Two of the people with her were also injured by those dogs during the attack. The city has known about this irresponsible owner, who keeps these dogs tethered and leaves them unsupervised outside. This is not the first time these dogs have gotten loose. I only discovered after the attack, that it is not the first time these same dogs have attacked other dogs and lunged at people walking down the sidewalk in the area. The city of Casselberry cannot continue to encourage residents to "get out Casselberry" while not doing everything in its power to inform and protect its residents from danger. You cannot encourage people, families and dog lovers to use Secret Lake Park and to park on the very same street of this attack (Secret Way), knowing the risk that exists. The city says the attack is a civil issue and that animal control is handled at the county level. The county says it's bound by the ordinances and cannot remove these dogs without owner consent. We are the citizens of Casselberry. We elect these individuals in office. They are supposed to act on our behalf to provide a safe and enjoyable city/county. This was a senseless, horrific attack that was totally preventable. It is inconceivable to me that these dogs are allowed to be returned to the owner and an entire community continue to be at risk. These dogs had no hesitation to lunge at the humans present. Something has to change before another tragedy occurs. There are far too many people with pets and small children who frequent this area. It is not a matter of if, but when, another tragedy occurs. Please attend the city commission meeting on Monday 11/20 to urge the city to do more than just point the finger at the county. The city is part of the county and can use its influence to enact change!
If your family pet is viciously killed while out for a walk on a leash with its owner, by dogs that repeatedly get loose and roam the neighborhood, the penalty will only be $27.50. The owner will keep their dog and when it happens again, the fine is only $50.00 and the owner will still be able to keep their dog. This is unacceptable. This protects an irresponsible, negligent owner and endangers all members of a community. When a dog owner is repeatedly irresponsible and negligent, and they are repeatedly allowed to get loose and terrorize a neighborhood and the city and county officials have received calls reporting these events - our elected officials have failed to protect the citizens of our community. If the city has a contract with Seminole County for animal control services, that contract does not relieve the city of Casselberry of their culpability to protect their citizens. Without changes, families out for a walk with small children and/or a pet are put at unnecessary risk - and tragedy that could have been prevented becomes inevitable.
We, the undersigned, are concerned citizens who urge our leaders to act now to impose harsher penalties for violations of county ordinances. We demand improved communication between county and city officials to protect the citizens of the county. We also urge the penalty be changed that if an animal that is running loose, and unprovoked, attacks or kills another animal or injures humans in the process, that attacking animal should be immediately and permanently removed from a community. And if that owner has a documented history of possessing aggressive dogs, that individual should be banned from owning dogs. Also, repeated complaints by multiple members of a neighborhood should trigger a timely response at both the city and county level to protect residents and remove dogs.
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