This has been a passionately debated issue in Vernon, Sussex County, and beyond our community. Tank the dog was involved in a biting incident, and has been sentenced to death this week by a judge. This situation has been involving our local court system for many months after a judge has granted several extensions in an attempt to preserve Tank's life, before the final ruling of him needing to be euthanized. Sussex County has so many passionate animal lovers, this case has been widely reported. The judge recently granted a 3 week final extension for Tank's owners to meet safety requirements put into place due to this biting incident. While many suspected that this could be a case of breed discrimination due to Tank being an American Bully, the legal situation seems to indicate otherwise. I feel great sadness for all parties involved. This is tough for Tank, the dog lover neighbor who almost had his nose bit off by him, and local authorities who appeared to do everything possible trying to preserve this pet's life. In related news, Vernon has recently enacted a $700 special license for "vicious dogs." This again on the surface appeared as it could be a case of breed discrimination, but further research clearly showed this only affects dogs who have been involved in incidents. Regarding the dog special license impacting dogs and their owners who require regular visits by town officials costing our taxpayer resources --- should they pay for these expenses or should we? While I'm supportive of doing everything possible to rehabilitate and save so many dogs when too often the wrong side of their leash gets blamed, we shouldn't have to foot the bill unless it is our choice.
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