From ANIMAL PEOPLE, November 2000:

LIMA––One of the first public
animal rights demonstrations in Peru featured
an estimated 200 people marching
with dogs on leashes through the affluent
Lima suburb of Miraflores on July 21 to
protest the shooting of a 10-month-old
Staffordshire terrier named Venancio.
Venancio, the pet of march organizer
Hector Rospigliosi, on the evening
of July 1 reportedly rushed up to an 11-
year-old boy who was playing with a ball
in a public park. Barking loudly,
Venancio scared the boy, who according
to his father was bitten on the hand while
trying to keep possession of the ball. The
boy fled to his grandfather. The grandfather
fetched a handgun from his car.
Rospigliosi immediately leashed
Venancio, he told Associated Press correspondent
Rick Vecchio, and walked away,
calling the police as he did so on a cellular
telephone. The grandfather meanwhile
called the boy’s father on a cellular telephone
of his own. The father raced to the
scene, allegedly stopped Rospigliosi at
gunpoint, and shot Venancio just before
the police arrived.

The protesters collected 2,783
petition signatures demanding that the
father be prosecuted for cruelty. But the
atmosphere was inauspicious: a week earlier
an American pit bull reportedly mauled
four men in a Lima park, after the men
evicted the dog’s owner from a picnic.

Two U.S. courts on
September 21 found in comparable cases
that reactively killing a dog who has
attacked a child is not necessarily prosecutable
cruelty even if it is not done in a
law-abiding manner.
Seven-year police officer
Ken Cannon, 31, of Gaines-ville,
Florida, was acquitted by a jury of alleged
cruelty and discharging a firearm too close
to a road, after shooting a husky/ German
shepherd mix belonging to neighbor Linda
Carpenter on April 29, 11 days after the
dog bit Cannon’s then-9-year-old daughter
Amber on the head, shoulder, chest, and
arm. Carpenter kept the dog chained to a
tree between her house and Cannon’s.
Animal control director Rick Phillips did
not impound the dog for rabies quarantine
until three days after the attack––and
Carpenter, upon retrieving the dog after
the quarantine, chained him to the same
Amber Cannon meanwhile suffered
recurring nightmares about the
attack. The jury––of its own initiative––
recommended an inquiry into the animal
control department. Suspended without
pay after the shooting, Ken Cannon
remained under suspension pending completion
of a police disciplinary review.
In a similar but less comparable
case, William D. Olmstead, 69, of
Wauwatosa, Wisconsin, on September 21
escaped prosecution for drowning a terrier
who had bitten three people in under a
year, most recently a nine-year-old girl.
Wauwatosa municipal judge Richard Baker
said that Olmstead could not be prosecuted,
even though he pleaded “no contest,”
because the wrong charge was filed. Baker
also fined Olmstead’s wife Anne, 66, for
letting the dog run at large. Wauwatosa
police said Olmstead would be re-charged
under a different section of law.

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