Thursday, December 27, 2012

A Fine Mess In Monroe County Michigan

Photo: Facebook

In April of this year, a young 15-year-old girl was attacked by one of Timothy Iocoangeli's boxers. She was bitten over 100 times because she was standing outside in the backyard. Most would feel that the dog who bit her deserved to die. Yet there is more to this story.

It turns out that there was a boy who went into the house when the owner was not home. He happened to be a friend of the son of Mr. Iocoangeli. The son and another friend were not at the house, and these two were looking for them by him entering the house.

As a result of this incident, the dog owner has suffered serious consequences. He has lost his job, his four dogs were confiscated by animal control and euthanized, and the puppies which he had in his possession were removed and placed in an animal shelter for adoption. Worse yet, Tim Iocangeli will be prosecuted for four felony charges of owning a dangerous dog.

While I feel for the girl, I think the government is punishing the wrong person. The owner's dogs were safely secure in their house until this young man entered and let them out accidentally. Why didn't the kid ring the doorbell instead of going inside? Sadly, the boy responsible for opening the door is not around to address this issue. He died in a car accident after this debacle happened.

It seems that instead of getting to the bottom of this, the Monroe County

Photo: Monroe News
government wanted to use these boxer dogs as an example to enforce their weakly written dangerous dogs law. Yes, the girl will have a rough road of healing in the days ahead. What happened to her is truly tragic. If she's ever able to be around another dog, it will be a miracle. However, punishing the owner for something that wasn't his fault isn't going to change what happened.

The dogs were safe and secure in the house. It's not like they busted through a window to attack the teenager. They were released by a person who wasn't a member of their family. If that door was not opened, the dogs would have stayed in the house.

When a mother has a litter of puppies, they will tend to be protective of their litter. That may have played into part of the reason this happened as well. It's obvious that the dog owner had these dogs for protection. It's also a shame that you can't live in a world where your door is unlocked and people will respect the fact that you're not at home. The lawmakers are basically saying we now live in a world where having locked doors is the norm and opening an unlocked door is a person's right even if they don't live there.

To blame the owner of the dogs for this travesty isn't right. These dogs were doing their job which was protecting their territory. What's worse is that all this happened with no temperament testing. They didn't even give the owner the decency of saying goodbye to his dogs. It's easy to blame the dogs, but the fact remains that this case is too one-sided to be fair. It reflects poorly on the government of Monroe County and perpetuates fear and ignorance instead of finding the right solution.

Let's Discuss!

What are your thoughts on this story?

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