Dog on death row was within his rights. Stand your ground in Florida. If these kids that trespassed into his yard were burglars, Champ would be a hero. Assclown judge.
Champ the pit bull is on death row but his owner says he doesn't belong there.
Anthony Coleman of Pine Hills is waging a legal battle to save his nearly 2-year-old dog after Orange County sentenced his pooch to death because it bit children who trespassed on his property in August. Animal Services has had custody of the animal for nearly a year while Coleman filed petition after petition opposing the county court's destroy order.
He appealed to the 5th District Court of Appeal in Daytona Beach, arguing Champ didn't get a fair shake and now, Coleman awaits its decision. It's unknown when that will happen.
"Champ was doing was he was supposed to be doing, protecting my home. Now, they want to kill him," Coleman said. "I feel like the system is letting me down. He's not a vicious dog."
Champ, a red-nosed pit bull, was impounded and quarantined Aug. 22 after he attacked Coleman's two young neighbors, Jordan and Jonathan Robinson.
According to Coleman, the boys jumped the six-foot chain-link fence around his back yard by climbing on a barbecue grill. Both Champ and a female pit bull named Sugar were outside in the back yard, he said. Champ bit 9-year-old Jordan in the face, tearing away skin from his cheek and injuring his eye. Jonathan stopped the dog but not before he, too, suffered puncture wounds all over his body.
Coleman said Champ reacted violently was because the boys were not supposed to be there. Witnesses told him Jordan struck the dog with a metal railing.
"If he had attacked the kids outside my own yard, I would've given them Champ. But he didn't get out of his yard," he said. "He didn't attack the boy, the boy provoked the attack."
But Orange County Assistant County Attorney P. Andrea DeLoach said the injuries were severe enough to merit a dangerous-dog investigation as state law demands. Animal services officials are required to take the dogs into custody immediately.
Three days after the attack, Coleman received a note saying Champ was going to die.
"He is listed as 'people-aggressive' because Champ initiated and sustained an attack," said Diane Summers, an animal services spokeswoman.
The division manager decided the dog must be put down, but he appealed the decision.
Coleman vowed to spring his pup, so he studied Florida laws, argued his case in court, wrote to legislators for help and secured affidavits from the boys' mother, Cassandra Robinson.
She wrote that the boys had moved on and hoped the court would give Coleman back his dog, according a certified letter. Robinson did not respond to calls for comment.
During a hearing in December, Coleman brought witnesses and testified that Champ was a loving and friendly dog. He argued that the attack would not have happened if the boys had not trespassed. But the county argued the trespassing issue was irrelevant under Florida laws.
A county court judge eventually denied all of Coleman appeals, noting Coleman's lack of knowledge of the process.Coleman feels discriminated against for his ignorance. But DeLoach argued the county has given him every opportunity to save his dog, court records show. It just wasn't enough under Florida laws, they said.
The appeal pending at the 5th District Court of Appeal is be Coleman's last chance to save Champ.
Meanwhile, the dog is kept alone in a kennel receiving care but is not allowed to go out unless Coleman visits. Every time he does, though, Coleman said it tears him up inside.
"I'm not giving up on Champ, that's my baby. He's like a son," he said. "I'm going to do all I can for him."
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