Death-row dog goes free after two years in lockdown

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A pit bull sentenced to death for killing a cat has been given a reprieve by the Broward County Fourth District Court of Appeals.

The court found that Broward County’s dog death penalty ordinance conflicted with state law. The dog, named Mercedes, had been held in a kennel since the 2008 attack on a neighborhood cat. She was the last dog on Broward’s death row.

After a lengthy and expensive legal battle, her owner expressed tremendous relief. “I think it’s fantastic,” said Ken Sladkin, Mercedes’ owner. “It means no county can go beyond state law, and it means the dog gets a second chance.”

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36 thoughts on “Death-row dog goes free after two years in lockdown”

  1. We are Rat Terriers, little and “cute” and we will go after a cat in a heartbeat. It’s natural prey drive and Mommy and Daddy have to be careful with us. We hope Mercedes’ parents will watch her closely, be careful and keep her out of trouble. She sure didn’t deserve a death sentence for being a dog. Pits get bad raps.

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  2. GREAT STORY! IM SORRY ABOUT THE CAT, BUT IM GLAD THIS DOG IS GOING TO LIVE! WHAT A AMAZING MAN TO NEVER GIVE UP ON HIS DOG AND TAKE A COUPLE MORE JOBS TO PAY FOR THE LEGAL FEES! WHAT A MAN!!!!!

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  3. This is beyond belief! Expecting all dogs to love cats! That is just ridiculous. Some dogs have a bigger prey drive and those people who own them know not to own cats or other small animals. But, to expect all dogs to be good around cats is just plain moronic. Where is the outrage for the million of wildlife that domestic cats kill each year. I don’t see any punishment or confinement required for them. No logic or common sense.

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  4. Mixed emotions on this one. As much as we all love dogs, that’s how much the cat’s owner probably loved their cat. I have kept both (still do). Mine have gotten along peacefully. Chasing is one thing. Killing is another. I’m not advocating killing dogs. I am saying that the owners need to be responsible with their own dogs, and keep them from harming other people’s pets.

    Imagine for a minute that whatever breed of dog you own, there was a much larger one that just decided to kill yours one day. Dog aggression is also fairly normal/common. Would you still think it was no big deal?

    A beloved pet is a beloved pet, no matter what species. Have a little compassion for the cat’s owner. In the mean time, if you have a dog that could potentially harm another animal, take every precaution available to make sure that a situation like this doesn’t happen. If it does happen, it’s the owner’s fault. Not the dog’s.

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    • I’m not going against what you said but if the cat was kept indoors, it wouldn’t have gotten hurt. Owners that know there’s a larger animals next door, if they really cared about their cat, would keep it indoors. I mean, well, you can’t keep a wolf from killing a deer so if you want to keep the deer safe, you’ll have to confine it. The dog probably had a high prey drive and you can’t train a dog out of his instincts. I’m just glad the dog turned out OK…

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