The family of Buddy, a Golden Retriever mix, has been fighting for his life against the city of San Antonio since Buddy was detained November 1st for injuring a girl. The case is creating ill will with local animal rescuers, who are planning a protest in Alamo Plaza on January 18, and is a continuing source of bad publicity for the city of San Antonio. Last night, January 14, Mayor Julian Castro commented on the high profile case:
"It's important of course that there are consequences for the fact that a little girl got harmed. However, I'm confident that something can be worked out short of euthanizing the dog," said Mayor Castro. "I'm confident that another agreement can be reached so that the dog can live, and we'll go ahead and take a look at the way that these cases are handled in the future."
Buddy's family wants to spare Buddy, but they may not want an agreement with the onerous restrictions of a "dangerous dog" designation. The family says Buddy scratched the victim because he was startled when she screamed in his face. If Buddy is allowed to live, but is designated dangerous, his owners will have to carry $100,000 in insurance each year, muzzle Buddy when he is outside, and comply with other measures meant to protect the public. (statute)
There are questions about how and why the city is prosecuting this case. One local news station believes there is a double standard pertaining to who gets the full court press and who does not; because Animal Care Services was told not to comment on the case of an actor's dogs who escaped his yard and attacked a dog on leash.
Animal Care Services has commented on this case. The Director of Animal Care Services has characterized the injuries as quite severe (see Emergency Room photo above), although nothing this detailed has been submitted to the court:
"The 9 year old girl suffered a crushed tear duct, a large/long gash that laid open her cheek that started just below her eye and extended to her lip. The corner of her lip was also lacerated/torn and had to be sewn back on. In all, her injuries required over 100 stitches to her face. She was hospitalized and had to undergo surgery to repair the tear duct. There is still a drain in her tear duct and she may require additional surgery. According to her parents, she also has emotional issues to deal with following this incident."
The only medical evidence introduced in Buddy's case is the Emergency Room photograph at the top of this article and the testimony of an Animal Control Officer. Court watchers, particularly Gilbert Garcia who has followed this case closely, are puzzled that more medical records were not offered in evidence as well as testimony by a medical professional.
A photograph taken in court two weeks later would seem to show no evidence of any physical injuries or stitches having been recently removed.
Animal lovers, Buddy's family and friends, as well as Buddy, are currently waiting to hear the results of his appeal.
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