Help Us Bring Home Marley, Who’s Been Incarcerated for Almost a YEAR

“I’m just a humble family man that wants my dog back and is trying to accomplish that the best way I know at the moment,” Johnothan said.

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Marley, a rescue dog from Afghanistan, has been forced to live in a tiny kennel for nearly a year while his family wages war against the ridiculous Florida legal system.  During a simple game of cops and robbers, he nipped one of his family members in a bid to protect another.  The bite wasn’t even serious, but one of their nosy Panama City, Florida neighbors reported him, and he has now been classified as a “dangerous dog.”  Please help us win the fight against this!

This comes from Marley’s Facebook page:

In 2011, a young puppy was rescued from the streets of Kabul, Afghanistan. The young dog, Marley, lived in the horrors of war before being rescued by United States Army Veteran Jonathan Jones. Now, Jones is fighting the Bay County Courts to save his dog’s life against a cruel injustice. He has been sentenced to death for a natural reaction, and one that Jones feels does not warrant such a harsh reaction.

He was roughly 6-7 weeks old when rescued off the streets of Kabul and he has come to a long way with the help of MANY people however, he is now the victim of a VERY overzealous Animal Control Agency that is acting outside of its Constitutional Authority. After everything Marley has been through, to have the dog awaiting a death sentence for a natural response is unfair and we are determined to help justice prevail.


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The incident occurred when Marley bit Jones’ 15-year-old son who was wearing a mask while playing cops and robbers with his 5-year-old brother. Marley was only protecting the younger boy from what he thought was a threat. Unfortunately, neighbors called animal control before learning the facts.

The Bay County Magistrate ruled in Marley’s favor, but the County Attorney is appealing the case for a death sentence. Marley has been in a glass chamber on death row in Bay County, Florida for 9 months now. The hearing was scheduled for Thursday, March 10, 2016 and took 10 weeks for the County Judge to only bow out of doing his job and upheld the Magistrates ruling. This is county cronyism at its finest.

We are asking for your help to affect change to protect Marley and thousands of dog like him that are caught up by an overzealous and unconstitutional government agency. We are fighting for Marley’s life to not be killed and hopefully save the countless other dogs and family pets from this kind of fate. Thank you.

A Florida statute prohibits dogs from being declared dangerous if they were defending family at their home, which is exactly what Marley did.  Isn’t Florida famous for its “stand your ground” laws?


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There was another small incident of a bite to a trainer, but again, it was not serious, and it was during an exercise designed to push dogs to their limits to know what their threshold would be for biting a person (this is a common procedure in many shelters).  It should be noted that this was also after many very stressful months of Marley being confined in total isolation, which can wreak havoc on any animal’s mental health (humans included).

When I spoke to Johnothan, this is what he told me what was currently going on:

We went before the County Commission yesterday to voice our side of things – that the laws have not been followed and they have tried spinning things (with the media’s help a bit) validating Marley being designated “dangerous.” The dog specialist is 100 percent committed to working with Marley and is trying to get the Animal Control director to work out a schedule with him so he can work with Marley one-on-one for the next few weeks and build a trust with him. In the meantime, my family and I will be going to his training facility to work one-on-one with his dogs there to build our confidence and learn the right dynamics for Marley to thrive within.

I need help with funds to continue paying his kennel fees and get the dangerous dog requirements met (in the event we lose our appeal). I’ve gotten the $100k liability insurance paid for the next 30 days; the yearly policy is about $600. As you can see, it is absolutely absurd on many levels that this burdensome list of requirements [must be met] in only 14 days…


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In addition to working with a trainer and getting special insurance taken out on Marley, Johnothan has also registered him with the AKC and enrolled him into their Canine Good Citizen program.  Additionally, on Saturday he will be meeting with a fencing contractor for an estimate.

So yes, while it is possible to eventually bring Marley home (after jumping through many hoops), which is of course the ultimate goal, his family does not want him stamped as being dangerous, which he isn’t.  The main reason humans evolved dogs from wolves was for their protection, and it’s preposterous that there is so much red tape to prevent people from continuing to do so.  Of course, this isn’t to say that people should still be allowed to have truly vicious junkyard dogs that would likely shred anyone it came across, but Marley was just protecting a little boy, his family member, whom he genuinely believed was in danger.

A petition was created to bring before the Bay County Commissioners’ Office, and a fundraiser was created to help with the costs of legal fees, insurance, training, and fencing.

“I’m just a humble family man that wants my dog back and is trying to accomplish that the best way I know at the moment,” Johnothan said.  “I’m thankful so many have come together to support him and our effort, it’s overwhelming on many levels. I just hope we can accomplish something good for Marley out of all this along with thousands of other animal owners here in Bay County.”


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34 thoughts on “Help Us Bring Home Marley, Who’s Been Incarcerated for Almost a YEAR

  1. If your going to antagonize the dog and he is doing what comes naturally you can’t blame him for being protective…..this dog needs to be returned or adopted out.

  2. The decision makers in this case have completely abused their powers and this case has become the joke of the year. Suffering is an innocent dog and his family because of one minor incident. Marley is not a dangerous dog. Anyone with a brain can see that. Appeal to the highest court-so to speak-and bring Marley home. Ridiculous.

  3. How and since have we become such experts on whether an animal lives or dies….if the family who has to live with the dog feels safe around it who are the others to judge…’s not a bigger problem than ppl killing each other ruthlessly yet we let them live coz we can’t take their lives so how can u take a dogs life……sick ppl take such decisions

      1. I so totally agree. How did that nosy neighbor came across this situation when it’s none of its business.

  4. Sounds to me as if this county’s animal control is just trying to make a point so they don’t look stupid. For Marley to “nip” one of his family because he didn’t recognize the boy is perfectly understandable. I would advise the nosy neighbor to mind his/her own damn business from now on. Did he/she witness this, or did the child happen to tell her that Marley nipped him? Whatever, it wasn’t HER/HIS dog to begin with, and the neighbor should have stayed in their own house and kept out of it. At least they should have gotten ALL the facts before butting in.

  5. I agree animals protect their human families and he obviously felt the 5 year old was in danger. This family is proud of their pet for his actions. Nosy neighbor obviously doesn’t under or like dogs. Panama City Animal Control release their K-9 family member.

  6. Marley did what any K-9 does when they are shown love. He obviously felt the 5 year old was in danger. Panama City Animal Control give this family back their pet. Nosy neighbor you either don’t like K-9’s or you don’t know love yourself. It comes in many forms. Animals have more than any human will ever know. RELEASE MARLEY.

  7. The Bay County Commission Office is located at 840 West 11th Street, Panama City, Florida 32401..

    Telephone: (850)248-8140.
    Chairman Mike Nelson

    The Commission’s next meetings is:
    August, 2016

    2nd @ 9:00 AM

    There is a “free comment” part to every Commission meeting.

    It’s important that attendees act respectfully. It’s possible that the Commission is not aware of the County Attorney’s unpopular action. The decision to kill a veteran’s dog that made an innocent mistake is a blemish on Panama City, FL’s reputation, and the reputation of Bay County.

    I hope that a level-headed person can take mail a physical copy of the petition to Hon. Chairman Mike Nelson, and attendees can mail letters to the Commissioners respectfully requesting that the County Attorney stop her appeal and accept the Judge’s decision that Marley should live.

    God bless America, God Bless you and your dog.

    1. Thank you for posting the address and phone number. I will be sending them a letter voicing my opinion on behalf of Marley to bring him home. With lots of love from Bristol Rhode Island

    2. I will be writing them a letter asap. My daughter was bitten in the lip by a pit bull mix. The dog was a rescue by her friends family. The dog is very sweet and when my daughter went to go give her friend a hug after she had an argument with a boy, the dog got nervous and bit my daughter on the lip because it was scared. The family took my daughter to the emergency room and the doctor said they cant do anything but let it try to heal on its own. After talking to the family they took it to the vet and they put the dog in quaranteen in their own home since it was a first offense. It is a very sweet dog and now they make sure they watch her. Their homewoners insurance is paying for my daughters lip surgery after it heals for 1 year. It is not bad at all and everything worked out for the best. The nosy neighbor should have stayed out of it if it since it did not affect her in any way. I will do my best to make them understand that she is NOT a threat to anyone as long as she is watched and loved by her owners

    3. How can we help get this family member back to his family.? Doesn’t common sense and logic play a part in anything ? This dog is not a danger!! Get Marley home!!!!!

  8. Do you know how short a dogs life is? Bay County Animal Control you have just destroyed a year of this dogs life. What gives you the right to do that? you are sorry excuses for human beings pretending to be hiding behind the law. I wish someone would lock your ass along with the neighbor in a cage for 7 years which in essence is what you have stolen from this animal This dog has more right to exist than you do,he knows what love is. All you know is how to cause pain!

    1. I live on a real budget and love what I hear can be done with invxpensiee cuts of meat using sous vide techniques. The toughest cuts can become flavorful, tender marvels. I would love to be able to do that at home.

    2. Your blog is truly an inspiration!!! Wow! I’m also very stuck in the 90′s! I’m only 17! I wish we could go back there! I love it when you do a new post! I’m inspired for the day! You should do a Menswear Monday on Joe Anderson! He is like Kurt Cobains doppelganger! He’s in Across The Universe and you could swear it’s Kurt! Keep it up, you’re keeping the 90′s alive woooo!!xx

    3. There’s just soooo much abject stupidity running around it’s hard to focus. No shit. I’ve been having blogger’s block because everytime I work up a good rant some Leftard does something even more stupid.

  9. Let’s save this dog. No matter what he did and/or how noisy it must have gotten he has gone through so much in such a short life. Look at those eyes full of life and hope.

  10. Whoever is behind this nonsense is not knowledgeable on animals. They will protect and if he would have really wanted to hurt someone, it wouldn’t have been a nip, it would have been a hard bite. He didn’t have hands so he used the only thing he had to protect the little one. I have seen cats protect their family, horses, dogs and even chickens. Too bad people aren’t as wise. I suppose if a little kid bites someone this woman would put them in jail too. In my area if a dog nips someone, they hold them for ten days to see if their rabid and let them go home. Much wiser move. Hopefully someone down there wakes up and does what is right for both dog and family.

  11. there is more to this yet. the director of the Animal Control there has a highly questionable background (it’s hard to find much online about it) but she seems to come from another facility that had a very high kill-rate while she was there.

    another dog, that people said was very friendly, was also held in the same facility as Marley, in the same torturous conditions, for a very long time. he was killed a couple months ago, though. he hadn’t left his tiny glass enclosure for about a year until they took him out to take him to the room where they killed him.

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