What would you do if your beloved dog got the dog death penalty – with or without proper cause? The system says pay up or your dog dies!
Caitlin McAdam, from Colorado, has spent more than $10,000 trying to save her two dogs from an impending death sentence.
There is no evidence linking the two dogs to the feline’s death, but McAdam was immediately hit with “dangerous dog” charges.
Oddly, dangerous dog charges are filed against the pet owners through the same process as other criminal offenses.
“If we had not fought this long, our dogs would have been murdered for no reason other than not having the funds to keep fighting. That’s not right,” said McAdam.
She was told that her dogs would be euthanized if they were found guilty –or even sooner if she couldn’t produce the money to pay for their impoundment while they awaited their day in court.
McAdam and her dogs’ fate was initially set to be decided at trial, where she would plead her case to six jurors.
The cat victim’s body was kept frozen and autopsies were conducted to be used as evidence. McAdam’s attorney had also gathered expert witnesses to call to the stand.
McAdam did everything she could.She and her family scraped together every cent they could to pay for Jake and Lucy’s $250 per week storage, along with the mounting legal costs. They sold an old car, used a tax refund, and raised funds online.
To date, McAdam has spent around $6,000 in legal bills despite her attorney doing some pro bono work, and a total of $2,500 in boarding costs. She has also spent more than $1,000 on the cat’s autopsy, the behavioral assessment, court-ordered training costs and other things.
The district attorney prosecuting the case would not comment, but the Pike’s Peak Regional Humane Society seemed to sympathize.
“There’s always ways for people to come up with the money to do this,” President Jan McHugh-Smith told CNN.
McAdam is not alone. Dog owners across the US find themselves in similar situations – facing huge bills over small pet-related violations like a dog getting loose, or a dog barking too much.
Some even face arrest when they can’t pay up.Other owners have let their dogs be euthanized when they couldn’t afford the fines and fees to get them back from animal control.
After months worrying about her dogs’ fate, it looks like McAdam may narrowly escape the heartbreaking problem.
The court let McAdam take Jake and Lucy home under house arrest. It may sounds like a great news but they aren’t free dogs yet.
The Lab and Pittie were forced to wear muzzles when walking outside. They were also not allowed to walk together.
After CNN’s Randi Kaye pressed officials about the situation last month, McAdam was relieved to learn that a plea deal had been offered that could clear her of the dangerous dog charges.
A judge is scheduled to finalize the deal on Friday.
She probably won’t get back the amount of money she spent but she knows that spending this money was the only way to keep her beloved dogs alive. Dogs are family after all and that’s what people do for their family.
“If we had not fought this long, our dogs would have been murdered for no reason other than not having the funds to keep fighting,” McAdam said. “That’s not right.”
Image and article source: CNN