Friday, November 16, 2007

Congo: Going the way of Ramos & Compean?

Judge's order will allow Congo to go home
by Linda Stein/The Times
Thursday November 15, 2007, 3:13 PM


Times file photo
From left, Brandon James, Kyle James, Hannah James and Benjamin James with their dog, Congo.
A Superior Court judge signed a consent order to free Congo the German shepherd Thursday afternoon, meaning that the Princeton Township dog, which was declared vicious and condemned to death by a lower court judge on Tuesday for biting and scratching a landscaper, is expected to be released to his owners' custody while his case continues to be appealed.
Congo has been held at the SAVE -- A Friend to Homeless Animals shelter in the township.
The consent order includes several conditions, chief among them that Congo must wear a muzzle whenever he is outside his owners' Stuart Road West house. Also, Congo is not allowed to leave the property of his owners, Guy and Elizabeth James, without prior approval of the township's animal control officer.
Guy James said that he and his family are thrilled with the order.We "are so ecstatic," James said. "If you want something badly enough, you go get it. On Tuesday, we shed tears of sorrow and today we're shedding tears of joy."
He thanked all his supporters who sent messages from around the world and said the fight to clear Congo's name and have his death sentence reversed is not over.
The Jameses contend Congo should not have been deemed vicious and sentenced to die because he was clearly, but inadvertently, provoked by landscaper Giovanni Rivera in the June 5 incident on the James's 10-acre fenced-in property.
Municipal Court Judge Russell Annich Jr. had ruled that Congo's attack was unprovoked.


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