See Update 8/30/08 – DeCarlo Gets 2 Yrs Probation
Michael Vick got 23 months for running a dogfighting ring, gambling, killing dogs, abuse and more. Randy DeCarlo, who rescues dogs, many of them with issues, is facing 12 years in jail over a nuisance noise ordinance.
DeCarlo, 55, of Lilburn, GA, has been rescuing dogs since 2001 and figures he saved about 250 of them from death. Right now he has about 25; 12 beagles, 12 basset hounds and a Shih Tzu.
Unfortunately for DeCarlo, his neighbors aren’t as enamored of his avocation as he is and police issued him 24 citations for violating Gwinnett County’s nuisance noise ordinance last year. Potentially he could face 6 months in jail for each of the 24 citations for a total of 12 years.
Gwinnett County Solicitor Joe Randazzo offered DeCarlo a deal to avoid trial and jail: give up 10 of the 25 dogs, and accept 24 months on probation.
No deal, DeCarlo says.
He likens a two-year term of probation for barking dogs to Michael Vick’s 23-month prison term for, among other things, killing dogs. And giving the dogs to Gwinnett’s animal control is probably a death sentence, he said.
“I specialize in dogs with issues,” he said. Sitting behind him was Casey, a one-eyed beagle who was kicked around by former owners, DeCarlo said. Casey is probably not adoptable. Nor is Frannie, who has a thyroid problem. Or even Mulligan, who needed months of physical therapy when he was found on a dirt road.
DeCarlo said he will continue to keep them indoors from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m., and that they only bark when someone comes around. But his next-door neighbor sees and hears things differently.
Susie Porter bought the house next door out of foreclosure last year with plans to fix it up and live in it, she said.
“I didn’t see dogs,” she said. Not long after starting renovations, she saw a few, she said.
“I thought there might be five, but they just kept coming.”
When someone would visit, two dozen dogs would rush the back fence to see what was going on, barking a storm, she said.
“It’s not just a yip,” Porter said. “They’re hound dogs. I couldn’t take it. I couldn’t live there.” She’s renting the house out now, and plans to sell.
She pressed the complaint, but doesn’t want to see DeCarlo jailed. “I just want him to be reasonable.”
Randazzo expressed similar sentiment Tuesday, calling DeCarlo’s rescue efforts commendable
Randazzo said his office is not trying to be punitive, but is seeking a long-term solution to the property dispute. Probation as a sentence is a formality needed to assure compliance with the ordinances, he said.
“I don’t think this is an issue about what he does, it’s where he does it,” Randazzo said. “If Mr. DeCarlo were to relocate out into the country, we would do whatever we could to assist him.” (AJC)
Seems to me rather than dragging him to court or trying to make him send dogs that he rescued from certain death back to death row, people should try to work with him. If the noise ordinance run from 7 pm to 7 am and he’s going to keep the dogs in his home thereby eliminating the problem, get off his case!
Rescuers take what other people toss away like trash. They give dogs and other animals a second chance at life. I’m not saying they are or should be above the law but I do think they deserve just a little more consideration than DeCarlo seems to be receiving.
Talk about the guy relocating, like most rescuers, he probably dumps every penny he has into caring for the dogs.
No, I don’t want to hear barking, baying dogs for hours on end either but give the guy a freakin’ break! Try to work out a reasonable compromise that doesn’t include him sending dogs to their death!