They say the pen is mightier than the sword.
They sometimes mistake kindness for weakness.
They say you can measure the value of a society by the way they treat their animals.
They also say Karma is a bitch.
And although they might think I’m free-associating, by the end of this article, I hope you will see that if you take all these seemingly unrelated things into consideration, there’s only one logical conclusion.
As I write this, two dogs that have become the poster pets for Broward County’s “One Bite and You’re Out” law sit on “Doggie Death Row.”
Their owners have filed appeals from a justice system that lets human killers go free with a slap on the wrist but demands the death penalty for four-legged citizens who don’t have a voice of their own.
Florida’s Broward County — a county that has drawn national attention for holding up a presidential election, a county that based on my totally unscientific experience has one of the most corrupt politicians per capita than any other county in the nation — is now in the spotlight for having an ordinance that kills animals for being … well, animals.
Here’s the bottom line.
If your dog bites and kills another dog in Broward County, and that attack is unprovoked, the county has the right to destroy your furry friend. No questions asked.
It’s a law that sneaked onto the books a few years ago during a county commission meeting. I can point fingers, place blame and play armchair analyst as to why that law passed, but that will waste time getting to the main points I want to make.
The law has been on the books for a few years. Dogs have died as a result.
But Brandie and Gigi, the two dogs that have recently brought it into the spotlight have also put the corrupt politicians who drafted the law under a microscope.
And it turns out that the same people who passed the law, also made sure that every dog that killed another dog — provoked or not — would be sentenced to die.
For example, the “objective” magistrate whose job it is to decide whether a dog lives or dies, works for the county.
Am I the only one who sees a conflict of interest here?
But lets get back to Brandie and Gigi.
The reason these two dogs are so special is that their owners are using the magic weapon of the internet to rally support to save their pets’ lives. By doing so, they are potentially saving the lives of hundreds of Broward County dogs that could be sentenced to death because of a law that no one bothered to question.
A few short weeks ago, Lon and Beth Lipsky had a beautiful family that included a miracle 2-year-old daughter and a sweet 10-year-old husky named Brandie.
Then fate stepped in to make Brandie famous. Right about that time, fate also called on Tom Austin’s 10-year-old Labrador mix, Gigi.
Both dogs were being walked on leashes — like Broward County law demands — when two smaller dogs — a Yorkie and a toy Poodle — approached in what records show is a provocative manner.
In both instances, Brandie and Gigi, reacted like animals are conditioned to react. They protected their pack — the people who were walking them — and took preventive measures.
Sadly, the small dogs died.
It’s what happens when irresponsible dog owners let their pets roam free. Nature kicks in and they must suffer the consequences.
We can argue and analyze what happend forever. But at the end of the day, Brandie and Gigi’s owners were following the law — their dogs were leashed.
Yet Brandie and Gigi were sentenced to die.
Now, I’m going to wander off topic just a bit to get your attention … in case I haven’t already gotten it.
I’m the proud pet mom of an 11-year-old miniature Dachshund named Queenie. I love my dog. My dog loves me. But my dog doesn’t know she’s a dog. Therefore, she loves people. Other dogs? Not so much.
So, when I walk my Doxie, she’s not only leashed, she’s on a very short leash. If another dog approaches, I scoop her up, make eye contact with the other dog and its owner and we walk away.
Why didn’t the owners of the dogs in the Brandie and Gigi incidents do the same?
Look, if you’re a pet parent, you love your furry friend. I know that the families who lost their dogs are feeling pain. And I don’t mean to make light of that.
But you know what? Nothing can bring those dogs back. And putting two other dogs to death will only make things worse.
The only thing we can do is celebrate life. Two dogs are still alive.
The Lipsky’s 2-year-old daughter loves and misses Brandie. Letting Brandie come home will make her happy. Making a 2-year-old happy goes a long way toward healing an injustice.
As for Gigi, she’s a senior girl too. Killing her does nothing but increase the sadness that animals are put on this earth to heal.
As a writer, it’s my responsibility to inform you about the injustice in Broward County’s “One Bite and You’re Out” ordinance.
As someone who has gotten to know Lon and Beth Lipsky and their unending quest to save the 10-year-old husky that is a part of their family, I can assure you, their kindness is one of the strongest examples of love I have ever seen. And when it comes to setting an example for their daughter, the Lipskys wrote the textbook on how to teach your children the difference between right and wrong.
As for measuring our society by the way we treat our animals … Broward County is pathetic.
And as for Karma … she always wins.
So, let Brandie and Gigi go home before you piss Karma off any more than she already is.