Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Owner Ticketed for Walking ‘Wheelchair’ Bound Cat Unleashed

Pooh Bear walking in his rig.

Pooh Bear walking in his rig.

It seems that authorities in Florida have nothing better to do than ticket handicapped pussycats attempting to frolic in the grass. It’s bad enough that in Florida they have clawed, aggressive ducks attacking the elderly at duck ponds, Diamondback rattlesnakes biting turtle rescuers and large pythons slithering around eating two cats at a time, but even disabled¬†pets must be leashed.

It seems that cat Pooh Bear needs a “wheelchair” to walk. His back legs do not work, so his owner bought a wheeled device on eBay that holds up his rear legs so he can get around using only the front ones. Though his owner Yvonne Steel takes him for a daily walk to exercise those good legs in a grassy area next to a park, we see from the news video¬†below that he is no speed demon, and is not in any danger of running off.

Well, that’s not how Brevard County Animal Services see it. On October 9, 2013, Steel got a ticket for $230 for failing to leash her Chihuahua, McKenzie, which is understandable, because those things are so small they could get stuck in a squirrel hole if you’re not careful, but also for having Pooh Bear off his leash.

Brevard County Animal Services representative Capt. Bob Brown told WESH that, “She had been warned it was not legal. Basically, we have someone that just is not getting the fact that you have to be in control of your animal when it’s off your property.” The law apparently makes no provisions for disabled animals.

Steel instead claims that she did not know Pooh Bear needed a leash, “That was my very first knowledge that cats could not be allowed off the leash. I wouldn’t even know where to put the leash to be quite honest.”

Brown explained, “Your animal could be injured. It could be hurt.” Well yeah, his legs don’t work. “It could run out in the street.” Not likely in Pooh Bear’s case. “It could be attacked by another animal.” Well, yeah, if the other animal is not on a leash. “It’s just the law that we have to follow.”

And that’s how it is.

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