Dog-on-dog attack could spark new ordinance on aggressive animals in Seminole County

Owners deemed irresponsible owners to see heftier fines

By Jennifer Ortega - Reporter

SEMINOLE COUNTY, Fla. - A new ordinance is in the works on aggressive animals after a Casselberry family's dog was mauled to death by another dog in November.

A special meeting put together by Casselberry officials invited Seminole County leaders, in light of what happened, to make sure the ordinance on aggressive animals is up to date. 

"They're not animals. They're our furry family," said dog owner Donna Syracuse.

Syracuse stood in front of city and Seminole County leaders with a heavy heart and told her story one more time, recounting the terrifying moment her 6-year-old dog Reese was mauled to death less than a block from her home.

The attack happened last November, and after four months of pushing for results, leaders have approved the making of a new ordinance. 

"I was happy to see that those citizens brought that forward," Seminole County Commissioner Lee Constantine said. 

"In Orange County it's different -- in Lake County, Volusia County -- so we're going to look at the surrounding communities," said Alan Harris, with Emergency Management Seminole County.

Seminole County leaders told News 6 Wednesday night they plan on adding new language to an existing ordinance on domestic animals, including higher fines for irresponsible pet owners. 

"Any animal that acts aggressively like this -- that charges and bites another animal or human -- we need to be able to respond to that," Harris said.

Syracuse said she feels a sense of relief knowing that leaders listened.

"Our little #justiceforReese that started because we lost our dog, and love her and miss her every day, has now possibly impacted potentially a whole  county," Syracuse said.

The new ordinance is being drafted. It will go before city leaders and then on to the county. Once approved, it could go into effect as early as April. 

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