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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 117447
Experience:  JA Mentor -Attorney Labor/employment, corporate, sports law, admiralty/maritime and civil rights law
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Customer Question

On Mother's Day I was at my mother's house with my son and registered service animal. There was family and another dog that lives at my mother's residence. My mother has a fully fenced yard, partial 8foot fence partial 4ft fence, with only one gate exciting the yard that leads into the alley. Both dogs, my register service animal and my mother's dog were in the back yard. A 7year old boy was said to be riding his scooter in the alley when he was attacked by a dog. Cops were called. Cops arrived and took statements, saw that my dog was a pitbull, which in Williston ND there are not allowed. The officers told me I had to surrender my service animal for 24 hours in which time we could contact Animal Control and get him back the following day. I retrieved the dog from the house and walked past all three officers, opened the officers patrol car door and Koda(my service animal) jumped right in. Koda was wearing a full body harness. Cops left. 30 mins later an officer returns to my mother house and asked for Koda's vaccinations records. I called the vet, answering service answered and said it would be fax over to the police station the following day in the morning. Police officer left. 30 mins later the same office returns to my mother's house to give me 2 tickets, one for pitbulls in city limits - first offense and the second citation for vicious animal. Officer left. 20 mins later 2 of the original officers arrive and tell me my dog is deceased. He supposedly went into fight or flight mode, and strangled himself. Take note-taking the dog only weighed approximately 55lbs and was wearing a FULL BODY HARNESS. The cops refused to let me see Koda, or tell me where he was.
***side note.
My mother's dog, who was also in the yard has already bitten a child before. A total of 2 separate incidences with the same dog bitting. The second incident her dog bite my son, leaving 3 puncture marks on his left cheek, he was 3 at the time, now almost 6.
Also my mother told the police officers before they took custody of my Koda, that her dog was the aggressive one.
Also when the police took Koda they had no chain, no muzzle, nothing...only a 4 foot leash.
AND.... 1 month ago, the same cop was called to my house because of Koda being a pitbull. He questioned me about my animal and told me animal control would be in touch. The following day animal control came to my house, took a picture of Koda and copies of all his documents and left. No citation was issued, no warning, no stipulations. And I have proof of this on my security camera.
I'm at a complete loss of what to do.
Someone please help!!
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only We cannot represent you in any matter, is that what you are seeking or are you only seeking information from us? What is your specific question for us?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Just information. What should I do. What are my rights. How do I protect myself moving forward.
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your reply.Under the Americans with Disabilities Act, if this was a registered service dog, they had no right to take it even if there was an ordinance saying pit bulls were illegal pets in that city. Under the ADA a service dog is exempt from such laws. Furthermore, they cannot kill your animal without giving you a hearing and a chance to present your evidence, nor could they take your dog without evidence it was your dog that bit the child, which according to you the evidence pointed to the other dog. At this point, I would suggest getting a local disability law (ADA) attorney and you would have grounds to sue the city and police department for violation of your civil rights in violating the ADA and service dog laws as well as for taking your property without a warrant or just cause and for all the damages that caused you, including emotional distress.