Family Fights For Dog’s Life After Attack

Guy James is fighting for his dog’s life.

Congo, his German shepherd has been deemed dangerous by a judge and will be put down after an attack on a landscaper.

James, a New Jersey man, said that Congo was defending and protecting his wife, and that Congo is a friendly dog and has never had any history of violence. But animal control officers said that Congo’s attack was unprovoked.

The man who was attacked won a $250,000 insurance settlement as a result of his injuries.

James said that the landscaper, Giovanni Rivera, and another worker disobeyed his instructions to not get out of the car until he put away Congo and the other dogs. He stated that the workers got there an hour before they were scheduled to and they came when the dogs were outside eating.

Rivera and the other worker got out of the car and the dogs began to bark. James said that the worker hit the dogs with a metal rake, and James’ wife told him to stop. Rivera, who is afraid of dogs, grabbed James’ wife from behind to protect himself from the dogs and pulled her to the ground which caused her to scream. Congo then started to bite and scratch Rivera and the other dogs began biting him also.

James called off the dogs, and Rivera was treated for his bites at the hospital.

Since the incident, Congo has been at an animal shelter and James said that he is depressed and anxious and has to be hand-fed or he will not eat.

The James’ lawyer said the attack was provoked, and that under New Jersey law, the dogs had a right to protect themselves and their family.

But the municipal prosecutor said the family is responsible and should have kept their dogs under control and were negligent.

A dog behavior expert testified that the dogs’ attack was provoked. She wrote, “Based on these threats (unfamiliar individuals, perceived threatening position, the attack on the puppies with a metal rake, grabbing the owner from behind and pulling to the ground) the dogs were compelled to defend themselves and their owner.”

Various neighbors that have had experience with Congo and the other dogs also stated that the dogs are “happy dogs” and are friendly.

The judge is expected to place his ruling on the record on Tuesday.

James said he has received thousands of letters and e-mails supporting him and Congo. He said he plans to appeal the judge’s ruling to Superior Court.

Some animal experts and animal control officers said that Congo’s behavior was exceedingly aggressive in the attack. They said that Congo initiated the attack, and that they have concerns that Congo continued to bite and attack Rivera instead of just biting him once. They all agreed that the James should be held responsible for not controlling their dogs.

One animal expert said, “The reason the guy got bit was he was afraid of the dogs. He was the aggressor, grabbing the woman. In that action to a dog, he’s reading it as an aggressive action. A German shepherd will die for his master. All he was doing was protecting his pack. The owners were negligent. They deserve to be sued but they don’t deserve to have the dog put down.”

Source: The Times

(Thanks Irene and Stattwit)

126 Responses to “Family Fights For Dog’s Life After Attack”

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  1. Lynn says:

    Gee, Ellis,

    Is that the best you can do? Attack my grammar? Yes, you get off on that. Tsk, tsk, tsk.

  2. ellis says:

    Lynn, reading your ~20 word reply I’m getting the indication that you’ve run out of relevant points to add to the discussion. Not surprising, as one of the last comments you made was how if the laborers had been rapists then Congo would be a hero.

    Sorry to see my joke about grammar and spelling went over poorly, as I really had no idea why you thought I was trying to intimidate you. Oh well, at least you were here to confront me and call me on my rudeness.

    Too bad the laborers weren’t around to refute your inference that they were rapists.

  3. MaineMom says:

    Ellis - If someone comes to my house at an unspecified time my animals are not in “lock down.” Are yours? Pick one: 1. They are not confined; 2. I do not have any pets; 3. I keep all my animals confined to crates, dog runs or chained 365/24/7. By the way, #3 is animal abuse.

    At least I think we all agree that Congo does not deserve to die because he tried to protect his owner.

  4. Lynn says:


    You wrote, “Too bad the laborers weren’t around to refute your inference that they were rapists.”

    Amazing how you ever deduced such a thing since no one else did.

    Simply stated, responding to you is not worth my time.

  5. Judge Upholds Ruling For Congo The Dog To Be Put Down | Itchmo: News For Dogs & Cats says:

    […] story of Congo, a 2 1/2-year-old German Shepherd, has been making nationwide headlines. There has been debate over if this dog was simply protecting […]

  6. Joseph says:

    This is bullshit, if anyone were to try and put down my dog they would get a face full of lead. Fuck the gardener, and the law enforcement involved. Wow, they are sacks of shit.

  7. Bill Johnson says:

    A dog should be trained not to attack anyone, ever. The guy shows up for work early and is afraid of an 85 lb dog and deserves to be attacked? Congo needs to be put down now.

    It’s just a dog.

  8. EDgar says:

    First of all the whole thing with the illegal aliens thats just ignorant we aliens are trying to make a living and all you white or jews should be the last people talking about immigration considering the true americans are the native americans not you people specially the jews ya dont even have a country. LOL and second of all that dog should be put to sleep becuase as it states above the dog was unprovoked.But sinc it a german sheperd its a good dog BULLSHIT. if it would have been a pitbull or a pitbull mixed it would had been allready put to sleep. Yet pitbulls are the most obidient dogs since 1990. So in the end put that dog to sleep!!!!

  9. frank says:

    Goes to show you just how stupid these illegal scum are. They just dont get it! The issue is not whether he is a human being or a martian, the fact is he is here illegally and should’nt get a damn thing. We taxpayers even paid for him to be in the hopsital. What a joke the USA has become to the entire world. Want to kill someone or rob someone, come to the USA, you’ll get away with it because of scum lawyers like the illegals themselves.

  10. Truth and Jusitce says:

    Funny how sick Americans are and how racist they are against everyone else who isn’t considered American huh? All I see here are a bunch of ignorant *******s who forgot where THEIR true roots where from. Mexicans are as American as the native American because where did Americans Settlers originate? Can’t answer that can you? The real illgeals are us who almost wiped out an entire culture of Native Americans when our forefathers took away this land from them. I truly feel ashamed to call myself an American if this is our behaviour toward another fellow man- we are all the same no matter where we come from, remember that you bunch of sons-of-bithches!

    I am an American shamely I say these words onto all of you because we represent a nation of hate and great racism still towards all those who do not speak our language.

    The Jameses are purposely manipulating the story and making the hard working Honduran 42yr old man as if he was assualting the lady and being beating the dog intentionally- shame on everyone here for thinking this when I see it all clear it was not that way.

    The man was hiding behind the woman in hope the dog would regconize her and stop from his attack on him- who wouldn’t hide behind the owner to protect thier life? I would have smacked the dog with whatever I had too to defend myself and avoid being eaten alive as the Gardener was. If the dog would have bitten another family member or friend who stopped by, people would be screamning to kill the dog, but since it’s a illegal, it’s perfectly fine to have a dog kill him- who cares right, it’s ONLY an immagrant.

    Our humanity is devolvingmore ear year and we are becoming more cruel towards one another. Animals should NEVER be put above human life- no mattetr who the f*** they are period!

    Everyone in this forum makes me sick and I hope the dog is killed unless the family wishes to donate him to the police to work as a guard dog- those types of breeds are always being trained for violent actions as pitbulls, they are NOT family pets. Get a freakin Shih-Tzu if you want a family dog next time. The owner is to blame for this whole tradegy for leaving the door open WHEN knowing he had workers whom were arriving. Now he is manipulating everything and posting pictures of the dog with kids to have the community feel sorry for such a dangerous dog- FU** THAT DOG!

  11. Truth and Jusitce says:

    The Jameses are just mad because this hard working Honduran got such a large settlement and is now considered rich and this pisses everyone off because they have to keep working their whole life and never even have 1/3 of that amount in their savings in their entire life. Lets be real.

    Theirs hatred, racism, jealously and pure evil here filled with lies. The real tradegy is how the owner KNEW these men wee coming to work on the yard and was too lazy to cage up the dogs abd by saying his story of trying to warn the worker not to get out of car, he is clearly admitting the dog WAS dangerous and could not be trusted.

    I can’t be the ONLY one who sees the truth am I?

  12. the REAL truth says:

    “Mexicans are as American as the native American because where did Americans Settlers originate? Can’t answer that can you? ”

    yeah…i can answer that. Mexican ancestors came from Spain and conquered the indigenous Indians who lived there. USA ancestors came from various places in Europe and did the same here and ya know what…they didn’t break any immigration laws in the process because there were none. but now there are laws in place and if you do not go through proper channels to enter the country, you have no right to be here. how does Mexico (and other countries, for that matter) respond to people who have entered their country illegally? what “rights” do they have if they are injured or wronged while illegally in that country?

  13. Peter G says:

    The conclusion that I get from the website and the comments “this is a racist website”. If the victim was a white guy named Smith, the dog will be death by now.

  14. Jordan says:

    Why has everyone gotten off the subject. This is why America is the way it is now! U are all fighting among each other instead of fighting for what’s right in the point at hand!
    First of all everyone is talking about the dog! Everyone lost focus on the fact that the Man is An Illiegal Immigrant! Another Illiegal Immigrant that shouldn’t be here! Making Money; TAX FREE! Just here to exploit our beautiful country while we sit here and watch. The FACT is that another F*@# Immigrant has won $250,000 of OUR money! Now how many new immigrants are going to go Sue Happy on our people?
    Second, He was specifically told not to get out of the Truck! If he can’t speak or understand English, maybe he should go back to where he came from. We as Americans speak English as our primary Language. I know American people who have been denied jobs because they weren’t Bi-Lingual.
    Anyway, My point is If we stuck together like we did in the earlier days, instead of fighting amongst ourselfs, maybe we could help some of these situations. A Dog Officer lost the Paper work!? Come on Now. Are we really that Niave? If You or I was Late paying Taxes, they would be taken directly out of our pay, or out of our Bank Accounts. But Immigrants, don’t pay taxes, but yet the’re standing in line waiting for our SOCIAL SECURITY, AND WELFARE, AND GOVERNMENT ASSISTANCE AND they can’t even be considerate enough to learn ENGLISH! AND Yet, The’re SCREAMING Discrimination, and Fighting For EQUAL Rights!? What the HEll? I know I’m not the only one who sees this. Everyone I talk to sees the same things.
    What is going on here guys!?
    This dog did it’s job. Protect its family. When that man put his hands on the Wife, and she screamed; The dog attacked. Plain and Simple! After he was already Told to stay inside the vehicle till the dogs where put away! Those are the FACTS of the story. You might disagree with my thoughts, but Facts are Facts. And the FACT is the dog did nothing wrong!

  15. Jordan says:

    Why is it when people bring up immigration we’re racist? This is the problem…OH, well. I have Mexican Friends, Black Friends, Colombian friends… They all came here Legally! They are not Border Jumpers. They speak English, and live by our governments way of live. They don’t think they need special attention. They are here to make a life, not send money back to their country.
    When Immigration is brought up everyone gets touchy. The general phrase is aimed towards, Illegal border Jumpers, not people who come here the right way.

  16. Terry says:

    You brain dead momkeys that defend these third world scum do not deserve the protection of patriotic Americans. These south of the border racist scum are slaughtering American blacks, because their black!!!!!!! Laraza, the race, true Americans see them for what they are. We are now ready to deal with it.

  17. Frank says:

    This dog defended it’s owners. My brother’s rott Matrix will bark if a stranger comes into the house and raises their hands around women when talking. Once it gets familar with those people though, it doesn’t bark, and is a teddy bear.

    If a stranger hit Matrix, it would be a silly move that would provoke an attack for sure. The dog would tear their heads off, but then again, it would have to be provoked to attack.

    I understand the immigrant was afraid and did things he should not have done. For one, he didn’t obey the owner when he requested he wait until he came into the yard. He then threatened the dog and assaulted the owner’s wife by throwing her on the ground. The dog would be useless if he didn’t attack.

    Is the judge clueless in this case? Does he/she own a dog? The guy had several bites, but a dog, when angry is fast and furious. He could have done that damage in 3-5 seconds.

    Lets recap:
    The intruder went into the dog’s domain
    Hit the dog with a weapon
    Dragged the owner’s wife to the ground and she was screaming

    The dog bites the guy and he got $250,000 ??

    I have some questions.
    Is he an illegal immigrant?
    If so, he was breaking the law first.
    Was he invited on the property at that time?
    If not, he was trespassing.
    Did he not assult the dog?
    If so, he should be arrested for animal cruelty.
    Did he assualt the woman and hold her against her will?
    This would be assault.

    The dog doesn’t deserve to die for this. He deserves a metal. He did what he thought he should have done. It happened on his turf. It wasn’t like the dog was running around loose in the streets attacking people.

  18. JT says:

    James’s story about landscaper attacking his wife sounds like utter BS
    to me. Something in this story serious does not add up. If my dog was
    outside and was aggressively barking at anybody I would have her inside
    and under control in 10secs. I know she is protective and so I would not
    let her out unsupervised. So either James was not around or his dog does
    not obey him. In both cases he can only blame himself .
    But that aside - Congo does not know or care if victim was illegal
    immigrant. Today he attacked Honduran landscaper and tomorrow he
    will attack (and kill) your precious 7yo blond daughter riding her bike
    thru the same neighborhood. Dog that attacks and bites is a ticking bomb
    and should be destroyed. Ethnicity or legal status of victim has nothing to
    do with it whatsoever.

  19. sstead says:

    This board is heavily edited. Posts are removed daily. Orwellian at best. Which ones do you choose to remove the most. If you mention race as a factor in this issue then you are a racist. I have read several articles that rightly do not even hint at a racial connection. Change the players to A 72 year old Avon lady who is late for an appointment made by a mexican immigrant home owner whose pitbulls mauled her under similar warnings etc. Would you switch sides in the debate?

  20. C.PATTERSON says:


  21. My thoughts says:

    This is not about the man who was attacked being an illegal immigrant. Is it right to put the dog down for defending his owner? Frank had some great points when he said, “I have some questions.
    Is he an illegal immigrant?
    If so, he was breaking the law first.
    Was he invited on the property at that time?
    If not, he was trespassing.
    Did he not assult the dog?
    If so, he should be arrested for animal cruelty.
    Did he assualt the woman and hold her against her will?
    This would be assault.”

    It doesn’t matter if the man who was attacked was mexican, white, black, asian etc… The dog was defending the owner. The dog isn’t trained to always attack and kill, he hasn’t had a record before this incident. The dog, although, was trained to defend himself and his owner.
    Put yourself in this situation…
    You are at home, someone comes into your home unexpected and they attack you. The dog sees all this and he just sits there and watches. Would you be content that there was no intervention? Let’s try the same situation but your dog actually does something. He tries to protect you and stops the predator.
    In the situation with Congo, he interveined. He saw that his owner was pulled down by this unknown man which left the owner to scream, and the dog did what he had to do.
    By New Jersey Law it states that a dog is allowed to protect themselves and owners. That was exactly what he did.

  22. Trish says:

    I just have to say that there are so many misinformed morons on here that it absolutely sickens me!
    1. The dog was PROTECTING his family. And to the people who are saying that ‘even in a perceived attack you must be able to control your dog’ well….if I “perceive” that I am being attacked I’m going to be upset if my dog DOESN’T defend me!
    2. This has absolutely nothing to do with the immigration status of the worker. This has to do solely with the worker’s apparent inability to follow simple instructions, by the way, the owner spoke SPANISH to him, so he KNEW what he was told to do!
    3.You idiots who insist that once a dog bites and “gets the taste of blood” it will forever more be a vicious animal need to read up a little. Police dogs bite people all the time, and these officers then take that same dog home to their families and have no concerns! Your argument is a MYTH that has been proved wrong time and time again!
    5. Congo was NOT overly aggressive in his attack, if he was, they would not have been able TO GET HIM OFF, and the guy would probably have been mortally wounded!
    6. As someone who has worked both in Vet offices and Shelters I can tell you that 90% of the Dog Control Officers are AFRAID of dogs and are basically pieces of shit on a power trip!
    7.And lastly, the guy that said that said if anyone tried to take HIS dog away they would get a face full of lead……..DAMN RIGHT! DON’T MESS WITH MY FAMILY- DON’T FUCK WITH MY DOGS!
    Give Congo a MEDAL for being a DAMN GOOD DOG- and the rest of you, crawl back under your rock and SHUT UP!

  23. The Urban Grind » Where Is PETA When You Need Them? says:

    […] Via Itchmo: News For Dogs & Cats and Tammy Bruce […]

  24. Mikeybbdrummin says:

    My two cents. The guy was bitten because he must not understand OUR language. He didnt do what he was asked, to protect himself from the dogs he was scared of. If I was scared of dogs, and someone told me to wait till they put dogs away, you can bet I would be waiting. A Police dog can attack/protect his officer, the job he was trained for, and there is no questions asked. But a family protector can not evidently. A family being protected by its dog is just as important, if not more, as an officer being protected. What gives the guy the right to put his hands on a woman and knock her to the ground? Because he was scared? Scared or not, wasnt that an assault on the woman? And if not for the dog, he should have got his ass knocked out by the husband. To give the guy 250,000 AND kill the dog is ridiculous. This is a heads up to poeple hiring non English speaking help. DONT DO IT.

  25. jc says:

    i have a beagle retriever mix, he’s a year and a half years old, well, my neighbor was walking through my yard while were loading up the Uhaul truck, the dog came out the door and ran up to him, sniffing him out, my neighbor struck the dog with his fist, so my dog latched on to his sleeve, i called the dog off, and wen he let go, my neighbor hummed a rock (softball size) at my dogs head, nearly missing it, he went in to his house and called animal control. and now the county is trying to deem him a dangerous dog, please comment me back with legal suggestions to help my dog out, he is a good dog and doesnt deserve to be locked in a cage for two months until court and then have the possibility of being put down….please any help is appreciated email-

  26. EK says:

    Congo, three other dogs euthanized following second vicious attack

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