Saturday, February 16, 2008

Hung jury in guide dog trial

*CORRECTION* Thanks to Don Hert for calling my attention to several errors in my original post. My apologies; please see below for corrected version:

This tidbit gleened from a story by Rodney Hart, staff writer at the Herald-Whig:

A jury in a rural Illinois town couldn't decide this past week whether to hold a restaurant owner and her son accountable for refusing to accommodate a blind man and his guide dog. The Adam's County State's Attorney pressed charges under the Illinois Guide Dog Access Act against Jenny and Gus Papazoglou following their refusal to allow Don Hert's guide dog, Arlie, in the Greek To Me Restaurant.

At trial, Hert testified he was upset at the refusal and tried to show his guide dog credentials, but the Papazoglous wouldn't look at them. Apparently, the restaurateurs admitted they didn't know what the law was, but that Hert became irate and threatened to sue them "at least five times." According to Gus, the decision not to let Arlie in "had nothing to do with being blind or the dog anymore... it has to do with the way he behaved." Apparently, even the local police officer didn't know the law. He told Hert to go outside until he figured out what to do, went back to the station to do some research and then returned to the restaurant some three hours later to issue citations.

To read more about this story, try clicking here, although no promises. The Herald-Whig apparently does not make their archived stories accessible without a subscription, so this is just a link to a cached google page. If that doesn't work, here is the writer's contact info:

Friday, February 15, 2008

Man sues city after police shoot, kill dog

Rene Stutzman Sentinel Staff Writer
February 15, 2008

SANFORD - A man has filed suit against the city of Winter Springs, accusing two of its police officers of mistaking his home for someone else's, hauling him outdoors without clothes and shooting dead his Rottweiler. The suit, filed Thursday, seeks unspecified damages.

Read the rest of the article...

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Legislative ripple effect of horse slaughter litigation

In true American fashion of "where there's a buck to be made, someone will find a way to make it"... the closure of the last horse slaughter plant in the U.S. (see below) apparently has not ended the slaughter of U.S. horses for food consumption. And a federal ban on transporting horses to slaughter in double-decker trailers apparently wasn't enough to stop that practice, either.

After a double-decker trailer crammed with 59 horses crashed and overturned in northern Illinois in late October, the Illinois legislature has introduced H.B. 4162, a measure that would ban the double-decker transport of horses altogether. Entrepreneurs are reportedly getting around the federal ban by transporting the horses double-decker to facilities near the Canadian or Mexican border, unloading them for a day or two, then transporting the animals in a single-decker trailer across the border for slaughter, so, in the words of Margaret van Dijk, general counsel for the Illinois Department of Agriculture, "they are technically in compliance with the statute."

Wisconsin also has a measure pending, WI SB 262, to prohibit the slaughter of horses for human consumption.