The 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 his owner or if he is vicious and needs to be put down.
On Tuesday, Municipal Court Judge Russell Annich Jr. upheld his ruling deeming Congo a vicious dog and that he should be euthanized. Annich also stood by his decision that the four other dogs involved in the incident will be labeled “potentially dangerous” and they will be subjected to stricter muzzling and containment requirements.
Annich, who said he has received death threats over this case, denied Congo’s owners, Guy and Elizabeth James, to allow them to have custody of Congo while they appeal his fate to the Superior Court.
More than 100 protesters, some with their own dogs, carried signs, chanted “Save Congo” and asked drivers to honk their horns as they demonstrated in front of the township municipal building for hours leading up to the sentence hearing.
Last week, the James turned down a plea deal by the state prosecutor that would have allowed all dogs, including Congo, to return back home after being designated as potentially dangerous.
This would require tattooing, $700 per year for each dog in licensing fees, and police notification if released.
The James’ lawyer said, “I don’t think that choice is really a choice. It’s the lesser of two evils … I don’t believe that was the right message to send to the public. ”
James added, “By labeling our dogs, we’re agreeing they’re dangerous.”
The date for Congo’s euthanization has been postponed pending the James’ appeal.
Source: Trenton Times
(Thanks Lynn, Sharon)