FORT LAUDERDALE (CBS4) – Friday was a homecoming for a South Florida pit bull that has been on Broward’s doggy death row for more than two years.
Mercedes the dog, who’d been sentenced to death for the November 2008 killing of a neighbor’s cat, was given a reprieve by the Fourth District Court of Appeals earlier this week.
The court ruled Wednesday that Broward County’s old doggy death penalty ordinance conflicts with state law.
“The law was, if a dog get out and killed another animal, a domesticated animal, another dog or cat, it’s designated dangerous and put down,” said attorney Jason Wandner.
Florida law allows dogs that attack other animals to be given multiple chances before being euthanized. Dogs that hurt humans, however, are put down after one infraction.
Wandner took the case to the appeals court and successfully got the law changed to the state law.
The dog’s owner, Ken Sladkin, picked up his dog from the the Animal Hospital where she’s been held at her owner’s expense as the case played out.
Sladkin says he will take Mercedes to his Tampa-area home. He says he has spent $30,000 in legal and boarding fees trying to save the dog.
His god son Brian couldn’t be happier that Mercedes is coming home.
“If you own a dog, you know it’s like your companion, your kid, your best friend, and when it’s gone, it’s like a piece of you is gone,” Brian said.
Sladkin said when Mercedes gets back to Tampa, the dog will have an acre and a half of land to play on.