URGENT LETTER: CA - Ask Judge to spare life of pit bull
This is Extremely urgent. The dog could be put to sleep at any time.
The letters must be sent soon. I urge you to email and/or call right
away, but also send the letters.
Below the sample letter is a copy of an article which describes a
case that set a standard for future cases concerning BSL and
genetics. Please include a copy of that article with your letter.
Alert by FeralPlace@...
5local.htm; Contact info provided by Christina@...
Judge Robert Atack, Department 9
Santa Cruz Main Courthouse
701 Ocean Street, Room 110
Santa Cruz, CA 95060
Court House Phone # (831) 454-2020
Court house email : court@...
Please accept this letter as a petition respectfully requesting that
you spare the life of a pit bull named "Cocoa Puff."
According to a news article in the Santa Cruz Sentinel ("Pit bull
must die, judge rules," by Cathy Redfern, 1/31/03), county animal
control officials have been ordered to kill a 3 year old pit bull
because of complaints from neighbors. Although Cocoa Puff has run
loose in the neighborhood she has never bitten, or tried to bite,
County officials call it a sad case that stems from the caretaker's
inability or unwillingness to control her pet. It is unfortunate
that Cocoa Puff must die because of her caretaker's negligence.
Please spare the life of this dog and, instead, turn her over to a
pit bull rescue who can find her a proper home with a caretaker who
will act responsibly. Cocoa Puff should not have to give her life
due to human negligence.
Thank you very much for your time and consideration.
--end of sample--
Pit bull must die, judge rules
Cocoa Puff called "sweet" "vicious"
By CATHY REDFERN
Sentinel STAFF WRITER
Unless her distraught owner appeals, a pit bull called both sweet
and vicious will be destroyed by county animal control officials.
The dog's owner sobbed Thursday as a judge upheld an order for the
dog to be put to death. She shouted at departing county
attorneys, "Are you happy now?" The 3-year-old pet, Cocoa Puff, got
in trouble last year after months of complaints by her Rio del Mar
neighbors. Responding to those complaints, the dog was deemed
vicious by animal control workers. They ordered its owner, Bonnie
Ridino, to keep the dog penned up on her Granada Drive property. But
Cocoa Puff ran loose again, and neighbors complained, saying the dog
threatened them by growling and barking at them and their children.
Ridino says she's the sweetest dog in the world. "We've been going
through hell around here," said neighbor Linda Morello. "I'm a dog
owner too, but we've been terrorized." Dubbed a habitual offender,
Cocoa Puff was sentenced to death in September. Ridino hired an
attorney to appeal that sentence, but in November, the county Animal-
nuisance Abatement Commission upheld the order. The dog was caught
Saturday, with the help of a sheriff's deputy. Thursday, Judge
Robert Atack denied the owner's appeal of the commission's decision.
Evidence shows that the dog, "in certain circumstances when running
at large, poses a threat to neighbors and their children," Atack
said. County officials call it a sad case that stems from Ridino's
inability or unwillingness to control her pet. It is "highly
unusual" for volunteer animal-nuisance abatement commissioners to
sign a destruction order, their attorney said. Ridino's attorney,
John Hannon, said gentle, kind Cocoa Puff is a victim of an infamous
San Francisco dog mauling case. He stressed that Cocoa Puff never
bit, or tried to bite, anyone. "With the situation of that poor lady
butchered, the last thing a judge wants is to let a dog go and have
it attack some 4-year-old," he said. Hannon questioned the
commission's hearing process, the evidence of the dog's menacing
behavior and said Cocoa Puff had matured since deemed vicious.
Ridino rescued Cocoa Puff from a trash can when she was a puppy. Her
friends attended Thursday's hearing and said neighbors had a grudge
against Ridino. Petitions were signed for both sides. No date has
been set for the dog's death, a county Animal Services
representative said, in part because they are unsure if Ridino will
appeal. Her attorney said he was unsure as well.