Weekend rampage: pit bull attacks in Orange City neighborhood
An open letter to Volusia County Sheriff Ben Johnson
Your department needs education about Fla. Statute 767.03: Good defense for killing dog. My herd of pygmy goats was slaughtered between 6:30 and 8 a.m., Oct. 26 by three rampaging pit bulls who were known to be part of a pack killing cats for at least three weeks prior. The dogs attempted to attack my neighbor, my dogs, and me.
Why were the citizens of this area not previously made aware of the danger? And why did one of your officers stand by and just watch a baby goat that had been hiding came out when it heard human voices and thought it was safe, but became the final victim? She had witnessed her mother and her brother brutally butchered by these dogs.
My neighbor begged the officer to shoot those dogs and he said he could not because he would lose his job. Protect and serve does indeed apply to animals as well as humans. My goats fall into both categories. They were pets, not livestock: This is what the statute says:
"In any action for damages or of a criminal prosecution against any person for killing or injuring a dog, satisfactory proof that said dog had been or was killing any animal included in the definitions of "domestic animal" and "livestock" as provided by statute 585.01 shall constitute a good defense to either of such actions".
There is a serious problem in Volusia County with animal control and the sheriff's department. All they have done is point fingers at each other. No one has attempted to alert the public except the owners of the victims in these attacks.
I have talked to everyone I could contact in law enforcement to express my concern for the citizens in this area who walk, jog, whose children play and walk home from the Orange City school, and it has fallen on deaf ears.
We were left all weekend to fend for ourselves. The term "animal control" in Volusia is an oxymoron. The dogs were sighted all hours of the day ... attacked and mauled a donkey, a horse and terrorized dogs. We continue to live in a state of siege.
There seems to be little to no collaborative energy expended between the agencies involved. The only agency that seems to know what they are doing is the Orange City animal control department. I understand they were required to attend an emergency meeting on Sunday and they were told to do whatever it takes to get those dogs off the street before Halloween. Sunday evening Orange City animal control captured two of the dogs. At least one remains at large. My fear is this problem is much bigger.