This is Congo, the family dog of Guy and Elizabeth James. On Oct. 30th, Congo was judged as " vicious " by Judge Russell Annich of Princeton after Congo attacked a landscaper who tackled Ms. James to the ground. The landscaper claimed that he was only trying to avoid Congo. At the same time, another landscaper was using the rake on the other dogs. The Jameses are arguing that this action was provocation to which Congo reacted to protect his family. The landscaper suffered injuries, including head injuries, and underwent a 3-hour surgery. Congo could be put to death by Judge Annich as early as Nov. 13th. The Jameses are appealing the case to a higher court to delay the execution. Click on the Princeton Packet to read the story. This is a case where Judge Annich failed to distinguish between a protective dog and a vicious one. The latter attacks indiscriminately and unprovoked which is not the case with Congo. If Congo was from a K-9 unit and reacted the same way in protecting his handler, Congo would have been given a medal and declared a hero. Judge Annich failed to see it this way as well. No weight was placed on the fact that Congo did not attack the landscapers even when one of them was hitting the other dogs with a rake. Congo jumped into action only after seeing his master wrestled to the ground. The landscaper received $250,000 from an insurance company for his injuries even though he is an illegal alien.
UPDATE: Governor Corzine's office is taking a tally of calls in support of Congo, possibly overruling his death sentence. I have made the call to his office and spoke to one of his staffers. Call (609) 292-6000 and be counted. Call ASAP. It's an easy call to make. There's no arguing, just keeping score. You don't have to be from NJ. You can also fax the Governor at 1-609-924-5902. You may send him an email at this site http://www.nj.gov/governor/govmail.html
UPDATE: Nov. 13th Judge Russell Annich made his decision official today, unmoved by pleas from the supporters of of Congo and the James family. The decision has been appealed, and the case will go to a higher court. Meanwhile, Congo cannot be euthanized as yet. Read about today's development :HERE
UPDATE: Nov. 15th Congo went home today after a superior court judge stipulated that Congo must be muzzled at all times when on the grounds of the James' property. Also, the judge stipulated that Congo cannot leave the premises without the permission of the town's animal control officer. Great News!!!! The case is not over and the appeal in superior court may not have a definite resoluion until January 2008.