Charges dropped against Brownsville dog owner
Fri, 14 Oct 2011 03:48:04 GMT —
In September, two-year-old Bertha Algarin walked into her neighbor's yard in Brownsville.
Inside, the neighbor's dog attacked.
Bertha bears five bite marks on her neck and face.
Her attacker was a collie mix.
Animal control took the dog; a judge ordered it not to return home.
The dog remains at a home in Edinburg.
A judge also aimed to fine the dog's owner $1,500 and have her pay Bertha's medical bills.
"Which in my opinion was totally ludicrous, said attorney John Shergold.
Shergold represented dog owner, Esmeralda Cantu, for free.
All charges against Cantu were dropped.
Shergold said he took Cantu TMs case to prevent it from becoming a legal example that could put other dog owners at risk.
"If this wrong had not been righted, if this case had not been dismissed as it should have been, then every person in the city of Brownsville would have been looking at being held responsible for a trespasser, for an individual who had no business on their property, for a person that may have for example just gone onto someone's property and mistakenly encountered a dog, said Shergold.
Cantu said she is grateful for Shergold's help.
"It's just a prayer, an answered prayer, said Cantu. It's just a miracle that somebody would help me, because I had nobody, and I was just going to take it, whatever they gave me."
Shergold said Brownsville Police need to investigate Bertha's mom for negligence.
Brownsville Police told Action 4 News they are looking into what happened.
They could not comment on their investigation, because they said it TMs still pending.
Relieved from the outcome of her case, Cantu has gained confidence.
She and Shergold said they now intend to get the accused dog back home.
Action 4 News did speak with the toddler TMs mom.
She denied being negligent and said she was aware that her daughter was in the neighbor TMs yard.
She said had she not been aware, she may not have stopped the dog from hurting Bertha even worse.