Change the Laws Regarding Dogs Attacking and Killing Other Dogs
Encourage Responsible Pet Ownership For All Dogs Regardless of Size or Breed*
On Easter morning 2011 Winston Salem executive and journalist Kim Thore witnessed her pet Morkie, Jackson, savagely killed by a Pit Bull ten times his size while being walked by her fiancé Dr. Jon Epstein. The attack occurred 3 feet from their front door and was initiated by 2 6lb poodles who had a history of bad behavior.
At 16 months old, Jackson, a Maltese- Yorkshire Terrier mix, weighed a mere 5 ½ pounds, no match for a fifty pound Pit Bull which crushed the defenseless terrier in seconds.
Forsyth County Animal Control responded to the attack and determined the Pit Pull to be a “dangerous animal” under the County Ordinance at which time the owners removed the dog to another location. The two poodles remain to this day.
The numerous violations of the County Animal Control Ordinance on the part of the owners which lead up to the attack, and which would have held them accountable for their reckless disregard of appropriate pet ownership, were ignored.
When the couple approached the Forsyth County magistrate in order to exercise their right to see that the owners be held accountable they were turned away twice despite the fact that Animal Control, the District Attorneys office, and the couple’s attorney all informed the magistrate’s office of their support for the charges, and their willingness to prosecute.
The magistrate’s office believed that the location of the attack, the couples hallway, was not “public,” - Section 6.1 of the Forsyth County code clearly states otherwise.
Unwilling to accept that the laws regarding dog attacks were so difficult to interpret, and feeling that the rights of dog owners were being ignored, Ms. Thore and Dr. Jon Epstein decided to try and change the Forsyth County ordinance to reflect Animal Control’s support of responsible dog ownership, and to hold owners of dogs who attack and kill other dogs accountable for the behavior of their pets.
Neither breed specific nor size specific, the goal of Jackson's Law is stop the cycle of unprovoked dog on dog attacks. *PLEASE NOTE JACKSON"S LAW IN NO WAY SUPPORTS BSL.
The State and many counties/municipalities have criteria in place for declaring an animal “dangerous” Jackson’s Law is not meant to replace these criteria but to augment the existing statutes and/or ordinances.
**Any dog that kills another dog without provocation under this law will be deemed a dangerous animal.
** The dog must be removed from the premises and evaluated within 24-48 hours. (while under evaluation the owners will be responsible for paying any fees associated with the upkeep while in county custody)
** Owners are required to have the dog evaluated by a vet for possible physical causes for aggressive behavior and if treatable, must treat any issues at their expense.
While under evaluation the dog will remain in the custody of an approved facility designated by Animal Control and the owners will be responsible for paying any fees associated with the upkeep while in county custody.
**If it is determined that are no physical causes for the dogs aggressive behaviors, the owners must attend mandatory dog training and handling classes before obtaining their dog .
** There will be a fine and the funds will be given directly to the Humane Society and/or Animal Control.
** The dog must pass a Canine Good Citizenship Test.
Upon completion of the training and passing of the Good Canine Citizenship test, which will be paid for by the owners, the dog may be returned to the owner.
These changes will help financially support the Animal Control offices and the Humane Society, so that instead of costing taxpayers money, the fines, etc. will go back to the organizations that are out there every day trying to make a difference but are understaffed and over worked.
Please review Fabian's Law, which has set a precedent in the arena of responsible pet ownership. Jackson's Law and Fabian's Law have recently joined forces .
1. Protect all dogs from attacks by other dogs
2. Save the lives of dogs from vicious attacks