83. Deltona pit bull 'Snoopy' back home

Snoopy and owner Bob JohnsonSnoopy is reunited with 77-year-old Bob Johnson of Deltona on Jan. 20, 2012, after his release from quarantine in a biting incident involving a leashed dog that broke free from its owner and attacked him. But because Snoopy was involved in a bite incident five years ago and declared a dangerous dog, he lost his freedom for nearly a month.

DELTONA -- Snoopy the pit bull made a lot of friends on Facebook during his nearly month-long quarantine for nipping at another dog -- more than 24,000 of them -- and in late January, he was sprung from doggie jail to his Deltona owner.

Snoopy's situation is No. 83 in Headline Surfer's countdown of the top 100 local stories of 2012.

Snoopy had been under lock and key at the Halifax Humane Society in Daytona Beach since Dec. 27, 2011, when he pit a Jack Russell that was leashed broke free from its owner and attacked him. But Snoopy was taken into custody because he was declared a dangerous dog five years ago after biting another dog in his neighborhood. He could have faced being put down and that caused quite a stir in cyberspace.

A Facebook petition was mounted and before long 24,375 Facebook users signed a petition on the social network site under a page labeled "Please help save Snoopy!!"

Brandi Simmons of Maryland was among the recent Snoopy fans who wrote on the Facebook page: "How on earth can you blame snoopy for protecting himself and his owner from an attack by another dog! What was snoopy supposed to sit there and let himself be bitten? Clearly Snoopy is no threat to the public (after all he didn't break from his owner and attack someone else) so why don't you let him go back to his owner, who I am sure misses him very much!"

Kathleen Donnafield of Colorado wrote: "It's clear that Mr. Johnson acted responsibly by having HIS DOG on a leash. It's also clear that the out of control dog that attacked Snoopy and Mr. Johnson was not controlled by its owner. That Snoopy is being held and kept away from his owner is without merit and this dog needs to be returned to his human companion. Snoopy was wrongfully accused and unfortunately, I've seen far too many situations where dogs are allowed to walk with the leash trailing them, or often the end of the leash will be held by the dog in its own mouth. This is wrong and unsafe for others who follow the laws."

But Snoopy's release could have been delayed even longer, the city insisted in a press release after the pitbull's release to his owner, 77-year-old Bob Johnson, blaming an animal rights activist organization with trying to engage in legal wrangling.

Here is a copy of the city's press release: An agreement was reached Thursday between the attorney for Snoopy's owner and the city of Deltona, paving the way for the two to be reunited Friday morning.On Friday morning, Richard Rosenthal of the Lexus Project, (a self- purported animal rights organization which is not currently qualified as a tax exempt charity by the IRS), sought to derail the settlement.
Mr. Rosenthal did this by insisting that the settlement agreement be changed to permit the Lexus Project to sue the City of Deltona for the declaration of Snoopy as a dangerous dog in 2007, even though Mr. Rosenthal admitted that he did not know the facts behind the 2007 determination. When Mr. Rosenthal was unsuccessful in changing the agreement, he mounted a malicious and unfounded Facebook and media attack on Becky Vose, the City Attorney of Deltona, who herself is active in dog rescue and owns two rescue dogs. If Rosenthal succeeded in his attempt to stall the settlement, Snoopy would have remained in the animal shelter instead of going home today.
The Lexus Project appears to have a practice of creating much public outcry whenever there is a possible euthanasia of a dog, and then makes its money from donations from genuine animal lovers. The City of Deltona would like to remind the general public of the importance of verifying facts behind online media causes. Information about the tax exempt “Charity” status of any entity can be found at www.irs.gov/charities. Click on “Search for Charity.”

Top 100 Countdown Recap:

83. Deltona pit bull 'Snoopy' back home
84. Ormond Beach cops: Man driving upwards of 150 mph in Lamborghini killed on US 1
85. NSB cops: Motorist arrested on fourth DUI charge
86. Postal truck becomes engulfed in flames in Edgewater, but mail salvaged
87. New Smyrna Beach Finance Dept. wins national award
88. Sad irony: Elderly man drown in river named for death
89. NSB Fire Chief Dave McAllister among community award winners by Volusia League of Cities
90. Unlicensed 17-year-old Orange City boy runs over and kills 84-year-old woman in Deltona shopping plaza
91. NSB City Clerk Johnny Bledsoe gets new contract; 20 weeks compensation if canned
92. Votran bus operator drives 2 million miles on Volusia County roads without an accident
93. Jason McGuirk gets Jim Hathaway's seat on NSB commission
94. Holly Hill woman calls in bomb threat at work forcing evacuation of 300; tells cops she was bored
95. Sheriff holds open house in Oak Hill six months after taking over law enforcement duties
Link: http://headlinesurfer.com/content/411109-95-sheriff-holds-open-house-oak-hill-six-months-after-taking-over-law-enforcement-dut
96. Audio: Cop pursuit in New Smyrna Beach with speeds clocked at 100 mph-plus ends with stop sticks
97. Ponce Inlet Councilman Joseph Perrone holds onto his seat by one vote
98. Edgewater's Tia McDonald featured in book while visiting Australia
99. Gene Emter wins Edgewater City Council seat by 12-vote margin in special election Link: http://headlinesurfer.com/content/410884-99-gene-emter-wins-edgewater-city-council-seat-12-vote-margin-special-election
100. Chip Ganassi cars finish 1-2 in Rolex at Daytona
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Henry Frederick is publisher of Headline Surfer®, the award-winning 24/7 internet newspaper serving the Daytona Beach-Orlando metro area via HeadlineSurfer.com, launched April 7, 2008, as Florida's first around-the-clock online newspaper. Frederick is among the Sunshine State's most experienced reporters with scores of regional, state & national journalism-industry awards for nearly 100 breaking news & investigative reporting stories in Florida, New York, Massachusetts & Connecticut.
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