The potentially dangerous dogs were asked to stay at home Wednesday evening. For the dogs, it was their day in court with their owners doing the talking. The committee members volunteer their time. They act as the judicial system while two members of animal control enforce the judgments rendered. Dog owners were able to state their case. Witnesses were allowed to speak on the dogs' behalf. And just like a regular court of law, there were plaintiffs or victims. Marci Raneri felt threatened by a four-year-old pit bull on Woodlawn Avenue. This case took more than 30 minutes, and when it was all said and done, a verdict in the doggie courtroom was reached for "Heat" the pit bull. "The dog is to be supervised at all times," Joyce Bradley, the Dog Appeals Chair said, "with a muzzle or a gentle leader and a leash and he is to be neutered within 30 days." The dog's owner's immediate reaction was "How am I going to pay for that?" Even so Sarah Neal told News Channel 3 she will abide by the decision. "I think it's ridiculous in my opinion," she said. "The dog is nothing but a big baby, and you know, I gotta do what I gotta do." In case No. 2 Jeremy Eaton filed a complaint against the owner of a six-year-old pit bull named "Joe." John Williams is the dog's owner. Eaton was bitten by the pit bull, and he missed time at work at the New Hanover County Sheriff's Office. Photos probably made a difference in the mind of the panel as Willams wound up a dejected loser in the doggie court. "They want to put him on some type of restriction with a muzzle and neutered and some sort of stuff, and I'm just going to get rid of him myself," Williams said. "I don't want to have a dog that's defined, and he wasn't guilty to begin with."
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