A new dog law in Arizona places stiff penalties on pet owners... Arizona House bill 2137 was signed into law by governor Jan Brewer last week.
The law holds owners of vicious dogs accountable when their canine attacks another person's pet. On September 9, 2009, Sally Andrade was returning from taking her two dogs for a walk.
She says she was in her own yard when a pit bull suddenly attacked them.
"A neighbor yelled run so I did with my small poodle Sheree hanging... dangling from up high, and then I threw her into the house," said Andrade.
Her poodle Fabian was not so lucky. A neighbor drove Andrade to the vet hospital but Fabian died within minutes of arrival.
The dog that attacked them belonged to a neighbor across the street. The city of Glendale cited her neighbors $250 for not having the dog on a leash which they never paid.
This prompted Andrade to lobby for a change to the law... the result... Fabian's Law. The new law takes effect in ninety days... giving dogs similar rights as people. If a dog attacks another dog it is now a class 1 misdemeanor carrying six months in jail and a fine of $2500.
But the new law isn't setting well with everyone.
Local Yuman Chris Lawless disagrees with the law. "A misdemeanor and prison because of the way an animal behaves naturally? I think that's a little extreme," said Lawless.
Most say the law is a good thing. David Perry says the new laws gives everyone peace of mind.
"That's the last thing we need to worry about when we're out in a park like this," said Perry.
The law takes effect in July... and it also requires owners of aggressive dogs to keep their dogs from escaping.
Furthermore any person that causes their dog to intentionally inflict injury to a human being without justification could be guilty of a class three felony.
The one thing this law does not do... is bring back the life of a four legged friend taken too soon.
Sally Andrade the owner of Fabian and the woman behind the initial bill says she wants to push for similar laws in other states.
She's currently working and helping a movement similar to Fabian's law in Oregon. For more information you can visit www.fabianslaw.com
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