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Sunday, April 21, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Pooch That Attacked a Cat Gets a New Leash on Life

(CN) - A Florida dog that killed one cat has escaped death row now that the state Supreme Court has ruled that Broward County's animal control laws are too harsh.

Brian Hoesch's dog, Mercedes, escaped from the backyard and killed a neighbor's cat. She has been locked up by county animal control while the courts decided her fate.

Hoesch and South Florida Siberian Husky Rescue sued the county for declaratory judgment, seeking a ruling that the county ordinance requiring the death of an animal when it kills another is too strict.

The trial court ruled in favor of the county, but Mercedes got a reprieve from Florida's fourth district appellate court in West Palm Beach.

"A dog would have to kill at least three domestic animals before [Florida law] would require its destruction," Judge Robin Rosenberg wrote for a three-judge panel. "Although local governments may enact their own ordinances regarding dangerous dogs, those ordinances must not conflict with state law."

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