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It Is NOT Over Yet!! Congo Released to His Family PENDING APPEAL of Death Sentence

Animals  (tags: Congo, death sentence, courts, appeal )

- 4262 days ago -
James family lawyer: "We understand that this (Congo's release) has no impact on the outcome of the appeal. The happiness we feel now is tempered by the fact that we know this isn't over and we have a long fight ahead of us." (DONT STOP THE CALLS!!!)


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Brenda H (29)
Saturday November 17, 2007, 1:29 am

Mara G (411)
Saturday November 17, 2007, 1:38 am
OH SHOOT, I even waited a couple days before forwarding this to 400 friends. I thought this was a done deal and Congo only had to wear a muzzle when outside. I don't remember the article saying anything about "pending an appeal". Sheeeesh...this goes on and puts the family through all this unneeded stress and huge expense. What a legal snafu!! Will forward...AGAIN!! Thanks Nadia.

Trudi Reijnders (242)
Saturday November 17, 2007, 2:14 am
Thank you for the article.Disappointing to read there is a pending appeal.Noted another article with happiness,thinking this story had a happy end.But,we are n't there yet.

Nadia Donato (476)
Saturday November 17, 2007, 2:22 am

Sometimes, we just see what we want to see..... keep on fighting for Congo!!

Patricia H (90)
Saturday November 17, 2007, 6:09 am
That's what I thought, but then I read something yesterday and it seemed like Congo was safe. Guess I was wrong, sadly enough. Well I won't stop fighting for him.

Phyllis P (232)
Saturday November 17, 2007, 6:21 am
noted...thanks for clearing this up.

Alf I (246)
Saturday November 17, 2007, 8:37 am
This case could be an important landmark for many other injustices to dogs so its important that he is saved not just fro him and his family but for the rest of dog-kind.

Dusty K (1339)
Saturday November 17, 2007, 8:50 am
At least he is home....which is a good sign. Will continue to call, but I will also continue to keep good thoughts about him. After all, anything is possible.......Thanks Nadia

. (0)
Saturday November 17, 2007, 11:19 am
I signed she was doing was she was suppose to do. The man pulled the woman down she was trying to protect her. The man was told not to go in there so he is the one at fault plus he beats the dog with a rake. they should get him for animal abuse. Let Congo go home. This is wrong. just plain out wrong!!!!

Charlene S (126)
Saturday November 17, 2007, 1:02 pm
I hope they are not using these same landscape people (illegals I would bet my dollar). The guy got a
$250,000 settlement from their insurance company after he "caused" the incident. Will keep writing and calling as this is certainly an injusitice to an animal who was on his own property. What was the dog supposed to do..........he did what his instincts told him and was protecting his owner and the idiot injured the puppies, did he have to pay for that??????

LadyLou B (133)
Saturday November 17, 2007, 1:37 pm
Thank goodness Congo is home waiting for the appeal. We can only hope that he will never have to leave again. My thoughts are with Congo and his family. Thanks for the story Nadia.

. (0)
Saturday November 17, 2007, 2:38 pm
Noted with thanks, Nadia, for this update and the heads up to keep up the fight.

Jennie B (14)
Saturday November 17, 2007, 5:09 pm
I admit I thought Congo was safe, too-perhaps we do just see what we want to see or it may have been the way the e-mail was worded-I didn't see anything about an "appeal." You are right, the fight is just begun to ensure Congo STAYS w/his family and is not "railroaded" again through this appeal process. We need to continue calls and letters to try to influence the outcome of the appeal. Here we go....Noted/Shared

Yvonne White (229)
Saturday November 17, 2007, 9:18 pm
This was on the network news last night!:) So hopefully MSM will help!

Marisa D (24)
Saturday November 17, 2007, 9:36 pm

Marisa D (24)
Saturday November 17, 2007, 9:41 pm

Mary Cook (518)
Sunday November 18, 2007, 1:18 am
Giovanni Rivera failed to heed Guy James' warnings to wait in the car while the dogs were being fed. But Rivera, and four other workers, seeing that Elizabeth James was in the yard, got out of their car, according to court records. The dogs, Congo, his mate, Lucia, and three of their four 6-month-old puppies ran around the house and began barking. While one worker swung a rake at the dogs, Rivera grabbed Elizabeth James, causing her to scream, according to accounts police and the James family. Elizabeth James claims that she was pulled down to the ground by the frantic Rivera who was trying to escape from the dogs.
Unbelievable that Rivera,who received a $250,000 settlement from the James' insurer plus medical ex penses, has profited from this incident he provoked! I believe Elizabeth James' account of what happened. Congo and his family should not even be considered potentially dangerous; Congo's life should not be the price he pays for protecting HIS DOG and HUMANE FAMILY AND PROPERTY, his domain. Mr Rivera should not be employed by any landscaping company or any type of business that requires its employees to work on the property of their customers. Mr Rivera has no understanding of dogs and did not obey Guy James' order to remain in the car.

Sunday November 18, 2007, 1:25 am
thank you, i'll forward for CONGO

Cory Ferguson (110)
Sunday November 18, 2007, 6:39 am
A message from Roy James:

OK guys... Go have fun with this... Here is the number for the Animal Control Officer Mark Johnson, who has named Congo as Vicious.... 609-924-2728 work, 609-610-3797 cell, and if you want to speak with his boss call 609-497-1989, and ask to speak with Mark Johnson's boss.... We need to get him out of this job, as he has clearly no clue to what he is doing... He is willing to put a good dog down to death, for no reason..... Can't let this happen to someone that can't defend themselves.

Roy James (1)
Sunday November 18, 2007, 10:12 am
Sunday November 18, 2007, 10:09 am
Take a look at Sunday Nov 18.... Congo's law has been drafted and is going for approval in the senate.... How do you like that.... We are going to exonerate Congo... Look at the article, it is a good one. Thanks for all your support. If anyone would like to email my brother, he set up a new email address If you email him, he will put you on his list for when updates are available. Thanks for all your support.

Christian G (77)
Sunday November 18, 2007, 12:06 pm
Noted!!! Congo is not going to die for protecting his family!!!! Forwarding on...

Cathie M (87)
Sunday November 18, 2007, 1:06 pm
Thank you Nadia, read & noted. I have not been on as much lately as I would love to be. My Chemo is kicking my butt tremendously. I did'nt think it would be this way. Please send the word around for me please, I just don't have the strenght. I have to have 4 more biospsy's on my lungs yet next month. With the chemo and taking daily oral medication and shots everyday, I get terribly sick. I will finish my messages as I feel good enough too, and force myself to stay on longer to get this done...I'm very passionate about this, and it is breaking my heart that I get so sick that I can't stay on line long. It might take me all week but I will get it done. Agian, please forgive me. I shall be back to help you all. I just had a treatment friday and am so sick I don't even know how I am tryping. Your very dear friend, God Bless, and please be patient with me. Take care, and I DO PROMISE i will get this done. Cathie

Cory Ferguson (110)
Sunday November 18, 2007, 1:42 pm
New websites to see and hear more of the story:

Pat B (354)
Sunday November 18, 2007, 4:20 pm
my sentiments exactly, (above comments), and mary said it all, so i don't have to repeat...;-) i am amazed at the 'appeal' process going on. the dogs were just fine BEFORE the landscaper came to work that day, in fact, the family, and puppies were too. and they are fine now too. at home, being a family. AND why did Giovanni Rivera get all that money, when he was the one who went ahead didn't LISTEN to james' warning to stay in the car???!!! he started this whole thing (to me...), and he gets the settlement????? boy, oh boy!
noted, shared, and PO! thanx nadia for this update.

Mary M (20)
Sunday November 18, 2007, 6:28 pm
Thank you Nadia.

Nadia Donato (476)
Sunday November 18, 2007, 7:40 pm
Congo to get his day in statehouse:

Tamara Whitaker (5)
Sunday November 18, 2007, 8:55 pm
hi send me a link to the petition and the phone number here is the e mail add, i am in alot of groups catster and dogster, so please i need a link to his petition,also include govenors # .then i can cross post Tammy in Indy Kiki at the bridge and Casper

Nadia Donato (476)
Sunday November 18, 2007, 9:08 pm
Thanks Tamara... I'll send you an email and post it here as well for others who need it:

The Gov.'s office is taking a numerical tally on how many people call.

- Please Call the Governor: (609) 292-6000
(office hours: 8am-6pm Eastern time)
Here's what you can say: "Hi, I'm calling to ask the Governor to pardon Congo-- he should NOT be killed." The operator will then thank you and tell you that they're just taking a tally and will count your support for Congo.

- Email the Governor by going to his site: (Choose "Law & Public Safety" on Drop-down list and on the next page, choose "Pardons & Clemency")

* Please Sign the Petition if you haven't already & forward to everyone:

Past Member (0)
Monday November 19, 2007, 4:06 am
I'm sure the insurance forked out $250,000 even though the guy was responsible ^^ After all, insurances usually pay up easily, even though they don't have to, right? No? I'm sure the animal control officer & judge considered the dog vicious for absolutely no reason. After all these people don't know as much about the case as you do, right? I'm sure the landscaper attacked the dog first & grabbed the woman for no reason. After these are not just the actions of a guy who's trying to defend himself, right? GET A GRIP & stop pretending the dog is innocent. Protest instead against the excessive harshness of the penalty. Death penalty is not proportionate to this offense. His life should be spared.

Kathy Chadwell (354)
Monday November 19, 2007, 4:21 am
I don't know if the State they are in has the Natural Watch Dog Law or not but it's something they need to check into.
A dog shouldn't be put down for attacking on his own property protecting his family. This is still America isn't it?

Roy James (1)
Monday November 19, 2007, 6:11 am
Hey everyone.... I am asking that you do not contact Mark on his cell phone... The post that has his numbers was posted in error... Please do not contact him via cell. thank you...

Past Member (0)
Monday November 19, 2007, 12:49 pm
It is not right to put an animal to sleep that was only doing what he/she is supposed to do... Protect his/her Owners--Protect his/her home. This landscaper was duly warned to stop, and yet, he proceeded.
As a mother of children, I would protect my children to the death... do we expect less of an animal acting on instinct? It is clear this dog is a family pet, only exhibiting its' loyalty to its' people.
As humans we can this learn from this animal.
Landscapers, like Mail Carriers, should be well-aware of the dangers of their jobs, and respect the animals protecting their property/ people. It is sheer ignorance to enter where there is a possible threat, therefore,
God forgive the igorance of this man, which has put this loyal animal's life at stake.

Roy James (1)
Monday November 19, 2007, 6:09 pm they have a great report on the story.... take a look.... thanks again for all your support...

Elizabeth Aldam (278)
Tuesday November 20, 2007, 3:16 am
Death sentence to a faithful dog?What about death sentence to all the bloody animal abusers?We certainly need faithful dogs like Congo but we don``t need animal abusers...execute them and let animals live!!!!!

Cory Ferguson (110)
Wednesday November 21, 2007, 2:30 am
URGENT, everyone go to look for legislative registry and send your support of CONGO'S LAW to all the legislators, please pass this on to everyone, because it affects us all.

Laura R (29)
Saturday November 24, 2007, 6:41 am
The only negative I see for the owners of Congo...lets just say it bothers a trainer of over 30 that Congo is only 2 1/2 according to the article. Yet, he's already been used for breeding a litter of puppies. I can't help but wonder if the owners bothered to show him so he could be evaluated, and work towards earning his points and titles to PROVE that he (and the Bitch they also own), should be used for breeding? Also, obviously the Judge is woefully uninformed....about dogs in general. This dog is barely over being a puppy himself...he is a very young and immature dog. Congo, even with the normal, basic training that I would assume and hope he would have been given by his owners...he is not fully mature from a mental/emotional stance. Young dogs make mistakes...even with good training...they lack the ability to think things though to the same point a more mature, older dog would...they are easily reactive. I see this as a young dog doing what he felt was the right thing to do, based upon what he SAW (his owner being physically held) by a STRANGE MAN. I think Congo ACTED within correct bounds. I believe that if a disinterested third party were to give Congo a TEMPERAMENT TEST....he would likely pass it...based upon what I've read...I am surprised that the Judge would make a death sentence...without calling for a Temperament Test...that is a totally rational test to prove that this dog is stable and can be trusted.....under NORMAL circumstances....a STRANGER grabbing the dog's NOT A NORMAL situation...and the dog SHOULD react against such a my opinion...the telling point is CAN THE DOG BE SUCCESSFULLY CALLED OFF of an appears that he already WAS..... I've sent second notices to all my friends to please call again...and included the contact information for them along with links to the information on Congo....

Laura R (29)
Saturday November 24, 2007, 7:01 am
Note...for those who don't know it...a Temperament Test (the one used by the National Therapy Dog association) has, as it's final test, an AGGRESSIVE STRANGER who pops out from behind a "blind." Your dog is on lead that you are holding. The aggressive stranger (usually a large man, often wearing a big floppy hat and billowing coat so as to appear even larger, and often using a big stick to hit the ground as he approaches you and your dog...while making nasty, angry noises!) comes AT YOU...he stops at a "safe distance" away, still yelling and growling. To score the highest you can on this part of the test, your (leashed) dog is supposed to get between YOU and this "monster." The dog is allowed to lunge at the aggressive bark and to warn the frightening man away from you...the dog should NOT drag you to the man, but simply show a reasonable amount of aggression towards the man, aggressive barking and some small amount of tugging, jumping is fine, in fact it is GOOD...they want the dog to clearly be warning the threat away from YOU...and keep him/herself between YOU and the potential threat. A dog that scoots BEHIND YOU looses points...a dog that would drag you to the stranger looses points. YOU are NOT allowed to speak to or to cue your dog at any part of the entire test process, unless given permission by the judges. The Judges are running a stop watch during the test, they are tracking the minutes on how long your dog does the behaviors...including (the aggressive stranger leaves and disappears back behind the Blind after a few moments) how long it takes your dog to calm down after the stranger is "gone." and you HAVE then been told to speak to your dog to calm him/her back down. Once the dog is fairly calm again...the stranger returns...sans the hat, coat and stick. He NOW approaches you as a FRIENDLY stranger would. (the first two tests are with FRIENDLY who greets you and ignores your dog, and one who greets the dog and ignores YOU!) The stranger is aware that your dog will recognize his scent, but his entire stance and behavior has changed...he is friendly! Depending upon your dog's reaction now, either the stranger can move close enough to shake your hand or the Judge may tell you to reinforce the "calm" that you've helped your dog to reach before the man returned....IDEALLY...the dog may be alert for aggression from this man, but, upon YOUR approval of him SHOULD allow the man to come close and shake your hand...after that if the dog is calm and accepting...he will also praise, pet and "make friends" with your dog. A dog that FAILS to accept YOUR approval of the stranger now...will score low or fail the test altogether. The point is not that the dog shouldn't protect you, but that the dog is willing to reassess a change in the situation...and when you are given permission to speak to your dog THAT THE DOG LISTENS TO YOU!

Joanne S (10)
Monday November 26, 2007, 7:32 pm

Cory Ferguson (110)
Friday November 30, 2007, 7:34 pm
Public debate over the incident has even reached the office of Gov. Jon S. Corzine, who said last week that while he sympathizes with the dog, he's leaving the animal's fate up to the courts.

The governor's office has received more telephone calls, e-mails, letters and faxes about Congo than about any other issue since the governor took office. Almost everyone has demanded Congo be freed, a governor's spokes man said.

The James' have appealed the judge's ruling that the dog be put down. Until the appeal is heard, Congo is permitted to stay with his family with some restrictions such as wearing a muzzle while he' s outdoors.

James said he's rejected a plea deal that would allow Congo to escape euthanasia, provided the pet be labeled "potentially dangerous." He said his dog is not dangerous, and admitting so would be wrong.

Governor Corzine must be made aware that this is not only an animal rights issue but more over a property rights point.

A property owner has a right to protect family and home from intruders.
This will set precedent for every homeowner with insurance companies and claims for the right to safeguard their life and property.

Please take action:
Gov's office is taking a numerical tally on how many pe ople call - please call him:
609- 292-6000

Email by going to his site:

Laura R (29)
Saturday December 1, 2007, 6:32 am
Just as an FYI for those who don't realize it....Animals in the United States (and other countries in the world as well) are considered to BE PROPERTY. While in the USA (and other countries too) there are laws against Animal Abuse, laws that govern the selling of animals, including dogs, cats, horses...and so on...some laws regarding the conditions in which the animal may be/must be kept, and even leash laws in most places...Dogs (and other animals) do not have "rights" that would allow, for instance, a person to claim pain and suffering (at least in most individual US States or Commonwealths. There may be some I am unaware of, but to my current knowledge, if someone's dog mauls yours, you can sue for your Vet bills, but you would not generally be allowed to claim pain and suffering for your loss, if your dog died...same if you buy a puppy that is covered for a period of time regarding its generally can either return the puppy (within the grace period) for a full refund...(something turned up during your Vet Check that will be expensive to treat or the puppy is already sick) or you can exchange the puppy with the breeder/store...or you eat the costs on your own. A lot of PET STORES (puppy mill puppies) will try and cheat the unknowing consumer on the refund/exchange Laws that are's up to the consumer to know!

Congo, while a beloved family, according to the law...only property.... Sucks doesn't it?
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