Zeus- The Sarasota Gernam Shepherd who bit the Verizon repairmanFor Zeus, the Sarasota dog who bit the Verizon repairmen – the word is in!! For all those Zeus supporters out there who’ve been waiting, finally we have the news!! Zeus is to be set FREE!!! He’s going home to the Oteros!!!

Sarasota, Florida – Zeus, the German Shepherd that bit a Verizon repairman in March, will be allowed to go back to his owners.

Sarasota County judge Phyllis Gallen ruled that the dog will be returned to hisGilbert and Ana Otero owners, Gilbert and Ana Otero of Nokomis, although Zeus will now be classified as a dangerous dog.

This past March, Verizon repairman, 23-year-old William Flick, was working at the Oteros’ home when he asked to go inside.

Gilbert Otero claims he told the repairman to wait so he could put the dog away.

Flick decided to go inside regardless, because he “liked dogs.”

Zeus then attacked Flick, leaving him with wounds to his knee, arm, and back, according to police.

After the incident, the judge originally ruled that Zeus should be put down.

Now the decision has been reversed. (Tampa Bays 10)

The following comments are from Jennifer Dietz, Zeus’s attorney, who although happy that Zeus will be going home to the Oteros is not completely happy with the judge’s order. Thank you Jennifer for taking the time to make this comment to us.

No Hoorays for the judge. I am Zeus’s attorney who prepared an extensive memorandum of law and argued the case on July 6, 2007 based on the unconstitutional nature of Chapter 767. At the request of the court, I also prepared an extensive supplemental memorandum of law regarding the Chapter 767’s lack of constitutionality. Although I am extremely pleased that Zeus is home where he belongs, today’s order regarding Zeus is troubling. A careful review of the judge’s order indicates the judge agrees that the “the dangerous dog statute does NOT provide criteria for guiding the officer in how this either/or determination shall be made.” The order finds the terms defined in 767.11 result in the unconstitutional delegation of discretion to animal control officers. As such, the animal control officers in the Zeus case acted in an unconstitutional manner. However, the order suddenly summarily concludes in one solo sentence that Zeus is a dangerous dog without providing any legal or factual explanation in support of this conclusion. The order is, therefore, incomplete and inconsistent. If the order determines portions of Chapter 767 to be unconstitutional, Zeus should not be subjected to any portion of Chapter 767, much less be summarily declared a “dangerous dog” just to appease the public out cry over this case. If the pertinent portions of the statute are unconstitutional as determined by the judge, ALL orders should been vacated in their entirety and Zeus should not be declared a dangerous dog. It is patently unconstitutional for an order to simply conclude the statute is unconstitutional and then declare Zeus a dangerous dog. I am overjoyed Zeus is home. However, today’s order, in my opinion, results in an inequitable outcome because the order clearly determines that the statute is unconstitutional because it delegates unbridled discretion of power to animal control officers. Based on the language of the order, the entire case against Zeus should have been dismissed and all orders vacated due to the court’s determination that the statute is unconstitutional. Unconstitutional means just that-not constitutional, illegal, unenforceable. Therefore, Chapter 767 should not be applied in Zeus’s case nor any other case until the statute is clarified to correct its constitutional defects.
Jennifer A. Dietz, Esq.

You can find the attorney’s comment in the comment section of the ‘Zeus Gets a Temporary Reprieve’ post

To read all the background on this story:

I am so very happy this turned out this way!!! Now Zeus can go home where he belongs with the family who loves him and fought for him every step of the way!!!

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