Reckless Pet Owner Law Challenged

An 11-year-old dog named Jasmine seems as tame as her name, but the Nebraska Humane Society has labeled this Rottweiler a dangerous dog.

Jasmine’s owners Anthony and Tonya Stafford are also tagged as reckless pet owners. The ordinance has been in effect for 15 months and 21 pet owners are on the list. That means they can’t possess an animal for four years.

The Stafford’s are appealing. Anthony Stafford said, “I don’t accept myself as a reckless owner. I’m not and I take care of Jasmine like I take care of my kids.”

The Humane Society claims Jasmine has a rap sheet of 11 incidents from biting a person, biting another dog and running loose.

The Stafford’s contend that record is inaccurate and overblown.
Their attorney Greg Pivovar is challenging the reckless pet owner ordinance. Pivovar said, “The statute doesn’t let you know well enough what behavior is prohibited in order to determine someone is a reckless dog owner.”

Mark Langan of the Humane Society disagrees. Langan said, “We think it’s a very fair city ordinance. It was enacted to make owners responsible for the actions of their dogs.”

Both sides will be filing written arguments. While the appeal process runs its course Jasmine will be kenneled at the Nebraska Humane Society.

Whether the owners or the Humane Society pays the cost of the dog’s care is also part of the legal fight.


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