Pleading the 5th…..

I am not sure how many times I have said  “I am pleading the 5th” in jest.  This time I really am!  The 5th amendment reads :

“No person shall… be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.”

This is all in reference to the civil penalty we received Friday night for allegedly violating Raleigh City Code 12-3011(A) Allowing a dog to run at large.   It was just sheer drama, instigated by my “less than desirable neighbor” (LTDN) as documented in my post.

I spent about an hour today trying to figure out how to appeal our citation.  They don’t make it easy at all. The issuing officer did not even know what the appeal process is.  There is nothing on the citation  regarding an appeal process or on the website. So perhaps people just pay the fine.  We are not guilty…therefore we will not pay until we are heard. The Raleigh City Government website is horrible. They are making Due Process hard.  I finally called the Animal Control Dispatch and was able to speak to the supervisor.  He was kind enough to hear me out and let me know that if I don’t pay the fine within 72 hours we may have a summons issued.  My Due Process is in court! Seems a little crazy that a minor issue as such would get tied up in the court system.  I think an administrative board would be more effective.  I mean there are hardened criminals and child molesters waiting for their time in court and I am clogging up the system wanting to be heard over a minor citation.  There is something terribly wrong with this.

So because I strongly believe that  we were in no way condoning our dogs to “Run at large” I will wait for my day in court…if it ever comes.  Yes, my dogs left my yard for 30-45 seconds but where do we get credit for trying to collect our dogs.  The minute we knew they were out of the gate we were in action.  It was instantaneous.  There is no forgiveness for accidents or faulty equipment (i.e. gate latch)? What steams me even more is that the Animal Control Officer, since they have been in the news lately, said any time they are called out for a dog leaving their yard they will issue a citation.  That is crazy! Accidents happen everyday….thats why they are called accidents.  We don’t charge people with harassment each time they dial a wrong number. I agree there are  people who do let their animals roam and they end up causing trouble,  but there are also those that try to  obey the laws and keep their animals contained.  Gracious, by volunteering with a Dog rescue organization we are doing out part to take care of the neglected animals that Animal Controls picks up on a daily basis.  Good deeds should not bite you in the rear…

Bottom line is  most reasonable people don’t cal Animal Control on their neighbors when  their dogs slip out of the fence.  Most would try to retrieve the animal or call the neighbor to let them know.  Obviously, my LTDN is not reasonable and is harboring some serious hatred towards us.  Certainly, no way to live…life is to short to be so obsessed with other people and trying to hurt them.

So….we wait for our Due Process…..if and when that day ever comes.

3 Rescued Boxers, Crazy Neighbor, Police and Animal Control….Sadly Our Friday Night Entertainment!

Did that peek your interest?  We had  some unplanned Friday night drama with my neighbor whom is less than desirable and perhaps a little crazy. He hates us and our precious dogs.  Sadly, he is a dog owner.  He  walks his little fluffy dog with a metal bat in his hand.  He often lifts his bat and shakes it towards our dogs whom are behind the fence in our yard minding their own business.  A little more history on this “less than desirable neighbor” referred to moving forward as “LTDN”  He had a dog, whom he tied up on his back deck when we left for weeks at a time.  He left bags of  dog food sliced open for self feeding.  This poor dog was not spayed, and attracted many strays.  This poor dog and her puppies were eventually picked up by Animal Control.  So sad……so you know the intelligence of this neighbor.

Last night, we had just walked in the house when our three dogs slipped happily out the fence and headed down the driveway.  They were minding their own business wiggling and running so happy to have bust free.  Unfortunately, their timing could not have been any worse.  Our LTDN happened to be in his yard with his dog.  The curious creatures they are  headed into his yard to check things out.  Note no barking, growling…just normal sniffing and wiggling.  The LTDN ran to his porch grabbed his metal bat and came after my dogs swinging.  About this time, my husband was in the yard and witnessed the entire thing.  “Why did you hit my dog?” and LTDN replied “They are in my yard!”.  Other words were exchanged and LTDN went back into his house but only after he had hit two of my three dogs with his bat.  Being the smart creatures they are they ran back into the fence. There was blood on the head of one of he dogs.  We never could figure out where it came from.  Fortunately, they all appeared fine. This all happened in less that 2 minutes.

We called 911 and the police arrived.  They were less than amused with the LTDN’s behavior and stated he cannot  to hit the dogs with a bat because they are in his yard. If he was being attacked it would be another story. Clearly this was not the case.   The officers left to go talk to the LTDN and he was standing at the edge of his yard, all puffed up, with his bat in hand. They had to yell  at him to drop the bat.  They had their word with him and left.

Just when I was trying to calm myself and the kids from the drama Part 2 unfolds…….LTDN obviously called Animal Control, whom got a report of three vicious dogs.  They were really nice, and totally understood it was an accident the dogs got out of the fence. They even recalled picking up LTDN’s dog a few years back.  Anyway, because LTDN had called Animal Control on us in the fall (two dogs busted out the front door) he  had to site us for 3 loose dogs since he did not cite us in the fall. I know the Animal Control Officer is just doing his job so I have no ill will towards him personally. It is just crazy LTDN can maliciously and unprovoked  hit my dogs with a bat and we get a $150 fine for “allowing a dog to run at large”

They were loose for less than 2 minutes! It was horrible for the children to witness!  It just heightened the drama.  It is hard to explain to a child why someone can do something so gruesome and get away with it.

After sleeping on this we continue to be angry that he hits our dogs with a bat and WE get a fine.   We called our attorney friend who is completely enraged!  She has advised us to appeal the citation. She had some other tips and suggestions we will put into action if needed.

I am in prayer about this evil man, his poor dog, and our situation.  We are just trying to be the better people in this situation. Blogging about this has helped me deal with my anger. I slept so poorly last night I blew off my 10 mile run this morning.  It was raining, so I just went back to bed.  I was emotionally drained all day!  Tomorrow is a new day! I am determined not to let LTDN hold any space in my head and my heart! I think I will pound it out on the pavement tomorrow!

I am a true believer that what goes around comes around so….Those who do evil………eventually get what they deserve.