Today was a huge day for us here at home. Today was the day that Shannon was to testify in court about what happened to us in the early morning on Christmas Day 2010 when a pit bull ran into our home and killed our poodle Max. The full story can be read here http://www.jimsautismblog.blogspot.com/christmas-to-forget Shannon has been very nervous about today, but on Friday at about 3:45PM, she received a call from the court house here in Hamilton. We were then told that the person the city accused of owning the dog was pleading guilty to the charges. What a relief. Every time Shannon talks about Max and what happened she becomes very upset and begins to cry. So we're both glad that she wouldn't have to testify, but we still had to go to the courthouse today.
The hearing was scheduled for 10:30AM, but it ran a little late. We didn't even have to go into the courtroom at all. The man plead guilty to two separate charges including 1) being the owner of an illegal pit bull and 2) being in possession of a pit bull and allowing it to stray and do harm or damage. Both laws are recognised under the Dog Owner's Liability Act here in Ontario. As such, for pleading guilty, the man was given 2 fines totalling $2500, he's ordered to pay us $2570.06 in restitution and he's been banned for 10 years from owning any dog.
Finally we have some vindication for our little poodle Max who died a horrible death on Christmas Day. The sad thing is, that no matter what penalty was enforced, there is nothing that can wipe this memory from Jacob's mind. This was an instant which changed his life forever. Because of Jacob's Asperger's, he'll never look at dogs or Christmas the same ever again. Jacob's done well in handling what happened, but there are some deep rooted issues of course. We even had to give some of the gifts he received that Christmas away because Jacob refused to open or use them. He literally wants nothing around that reminds him of that day. It saddens me to think that I'm still powerless as his father to help. But I can ensure you, that we'll be filing a suit against the man and we'll be seeking the maximum penalty allowed.
So, today was great, but it doesn't fully close the wounds. I don't think anything ever will. I am however, glad that this ruling, sends a message to those people who wish to own illegal pit bulls in the province of Ontario. That bad things do happen sometimes. And when they do, owner's of illegal pit bulls have to be ready to pay the toll, whatever it may be. We can draw strength from the positive things that came from our ordeal. We have a new dog Chico who my son loves and we started this blog as a form of therapy, which has been great for us all. We'd also like to thank all of our readers for their support in our tough times. Since this post, the local newspaper has updated the story to include our recent court appearance. The new article can be read by clicking the link below.
|This was our poodle Max. RIP|