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VIDEO: Neighbors Outraged When Woman, 79, Slapped With Animal Control Citation














Neighbors in La Jolla are outraged that their 79-year-old neighbor with Multiple Sclerosis received a citation from animal control officers for having her dog off leash.


Several times a day for the past 11 years, Nancy Abbott takes her dog around the block in her La Jolla neighborhood.

She isn’t your typical dog walker. The 79-year-old disabled woman uses an electric mobility cart to scoot around because Multiple Sclerosis is robbing her ability to move. Fortunately for Abbott, her 11-year-old Pekingese, Pearl, is well-trained and listens to Nancy’s verbal commands.

Pearl has never used a leash and Nancy says there has never been a problem – until the morning of Aug. 30. They were out for their morning walk when Nancy was confronted by a passing officer from San Diego County’s Department of Animal Services who wrote her a citation.

“It’s very hard to handle her. And, a leash, I can’t do it,” Abbott said, referring to her physical limitations.

Abbott's neighbors say they’re furious over the officer’s “black-and-white” approach and refusal to accept anything other than the “letter of the leash law” versus “the spirit of the leash law."

“She is on a verbal leash effectively and to pick on somebody who has a disability that interferes with dexterity and the handling of a leash," said Ellyn Quiggle. “It’s just appalling. There’s no reason for it."

"We all felt as if somebody had slapped us in the face," said neighbor Glenda Rothberg.

San Diego County and Animal Services Department officials, however, are backing the officer, saying they’ve received a growing number of complaints from people in La Jolla about chronic problems of dogs being off-leash.

“Our officers cannot be judge and jury when people knowingly violate the law. Our goal is compliance. We have the discretion to issue a warning if we think that warning will gain compliance. In this case the officer decided a citation was the best course of action,” said Michael Workman, Director of San Diego County Communications.

Abbott isn’t sure how to proceed and, like her neighbors, she just wishes she wasn’t in this predicament.

“I know for animal control they’ve got to have a certain amount of control and yet there are certain cases where they should just leave hands off,” Abbott said.

Abbott has yet to receive the citation in the mail, so she doesn't know how much money she must pay. The citation for a first-time offender, according to published reports, is usually $240.

Story Source: The above story is based on materials provided by NBCSANDIEGO
Note: Materials may be edited for content and length
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