“They didn’t do anything wrong,” Dogs could be euthanized for barking at neighbor

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PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. – A Florida woman is fighting to keep two of her dogs alive after they were deemed dangerous by animal control.

Stephanie Castro has fostered a 2-year-old Whippet mix, named Princess, and a 6-month-old hound pitbull mix, named Duke.

In August, a neighbor called animal control after the dogs got out of Castro’s house and began barking.

She admits the dogs should not have been loose.

However, she says animal control came back to her home three other times in the span of a month.

The second time, they told her the dogs would be deemed dangerous. After being deemed dangerous, the dogs would have to be muzzled, be on a leash and there must be a sign posted that warns visitors of the dogs.

After that, she says officers came back and claimed her dogs were loose again. She says her dogs were inside her home at the time, and even has witnesses to prove it.

She admits that they do look very similar to a pair of stray dogs that tend to roam the neighborhood.

“The only time in two years that they’ve ever witnessed my dogs doing anything wrong was the day they were in my yard barking at the neighbor,” Castro told WPTV.

In September, her dogs were taken from her and she learned they could be euthanized.

“They didn’t do anything. They didn’t bite anyone,” Castro said.

However, a state statute says a dog doesn’t have to bite or injure someone to be considered dangerous. Instead, it can be deemed dangerous simply by scaring someone.

“It’s like someone has taken my children,” she said.

City officials say they have received dozens of calls about the law, asking for the dogs to be released.

There will be a hearing on Oct. 26 to determine if the dogs will be euthanized.

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