Steven was re united with his dog, MIMI today 11/17/10!
THANKS SO MUCH TO EVERYONE WHO SIGNED!!!!!
On NOV 11, a case was tried in FT WORTH, TX. It was a dangerous dog case that went on for two days in Ft. Worth Municipal Court. Steven is a young Iraq war veteran who was permanently disabled by a roadside bomb. (He walks with a cane, has little control of his bowels, is incontinent, wears a catheter, and suffers from PTSD). His psychiatrist recommended that he get a dog as therapy, which he did. The dog is his baby—or “my little girl” as he calls her. She lives totally indoors, sleeps with him on his bed, is registered, current on all vaccinations, etc. She allegedly bit a neighbor on the finger. (Steven's atty vigorously disputed that it was his dog who bit the person, hence the two-day trial with 10 witnesses). The person claiming that Mimi bit him originally said it was NOT Mimi, then THREE months later came back and said that it WAS her.
During court, on cross-examination when Steven was shown photos of his dog that had been recently taken at the animal shelter he just stared at them and tears began streaming down his face. He was devastated to see that his once healthy dog has probably lost 20 lbs during 3 weeks in captivity and appears to be starving. He looked up from the stand and sobbed, “Mr. Turner, why did they do this to Mimi”? He was so choked up he could hardly answer any more questions. Randy Turner is Steven's atty who took on the case PRO BONO.
The judge declared Mimi a dangerous dog and ordered that she be euthanized unless Steven complies with all of the dangerous dog requirements within 15 days. This was effectively a death sentence. Steven lives on $779/mo. disability checks in a home for disabled vets and there was no way he could ever pay the $500 registration fee, $500 boarding fees, purchase $100,000 of liability insurance, put up an enclosure with 6 ft. fences, pay for spay, etc. Therefore, his beloved Mimi was to be killed in 2 weeks.
As a side note, the trial was on Veteran’s Day and Steven proudly wore his uniform as he has on every Veteran’s Day since he was discharged because, as he says, “I am proud that I fought for my country.”
This story went out on the news and many people from all around the world sent money to help Steven save his dog. $18K was raised to help him in just ONE DAY!
Steven was so excited. He went to pick up his dog the next day. However; when he arrived to pay the fines, the city would NOT release MIMI to him. They are NOW claiming that his house does not qualify as a "structure" to house Mimi and they claim they are going to call his landlord and have him evicted! They are now claiming he has to have an OUTSIDE structure in which to house the dog.
The dog sleeps INSIDE with Steven in the bed with the cat! NO WHERE in the law does it state that the structure has to be outside!
Here is the news story where he received $18K from people all around the world.
Please sign the below petition to the Mayor and City Council of Ft Worth TX.
Thanks so much!
Recently, Ft. Worth animal control has had this dog declared a dangerous dog, even though the witness who claimed a dog bit him on the finger was uncertain (on two occasions) that Steven's dog was the dog that bit him. I have to wonder if the final identification was not, in fact, coached. Nonetheless, (and despite two days of witnesses who testified to Mimi's good nature) an order has been entered that Steven comply with the City of Fort Worth "dangerous dog" ordinance.
Steven went to Animal Control and asked them to inspect his home to make sure it complies with the “secure enclosure” requirement in the ordinance. He was told by a city supervisor that his house does not qualify as an enclosure and no one was going to inspect it. The city supervisor told him the enclosure has to be an outside cage with a roof. The house clearly meets the definition of “secure enclosure”. Steven was also told the city is going to call his landlord and have him evicted.
There appears to be a vendetta going against Steven. Are they singling him out because they dislike veterans? Or is it because he is black? Why would anyone try to get a Iraq War Veteran who served his country and was injured evicted? Do they have any idea how hard it is to find housing when you are disabled? Or do they just want him to be homeless?
Whatever the reason, the intervention of some intelligence needs to step in and take control. Does anyone in Ft Worth qualify? If so, I strongly urge that all of you become involved to resolve this matter as the whole world is watching to see how this will be handled. Steven needs to complete the process of complying with the city ordinance and get his dog back. He is not asking for special treatment; he is asking only that he be allowed to comply with the law!
This matter has some urgency because when Steven saw Mimi, she had lost over 20 pounds. This is a lot of weight for a smaller dog. It appears that the animal control staff are not feeding Mimi because, I presume, they think they're going to be putting her down within a few days. If something isn't done promptly, she may simply die in the care of animal control even though she should have been turned back over to Steven.
This is not the way we should be treating veterans, or any citizens, in Fort Worth or anywhere else!! Please intervene immediately to correct this situation.