As Albert Einstein once said: “The world is a dangerous place, not because of those who do evil, but because of those who look on and do nothing.”
But when Kelly and Bob Detwiler found out that a man was going to shoot his dog, they did not hesitate to act… quickly and boldly.
As Fox 13 reported January 24, 2020, the man who owned Toby insisted that — rather than the world is a dangerous place — it was his dog that was dangerous. He said Toby growled at his girlfriend and threatened to bite his son. So the man took Toby to Hernando County Animal Services with the intent to have him euthanized.
After being told the dog didn’t meet the criteria for owner surrender and euthanasia, the man took Toby to a veterinarian and tried to him put down there.
But the veterinarian also turned him away.
Frustrated and angry, the man went to Hernando’s Board of County Commissioners.
“Nobody wants my dog,” he complained to the commission, whining that neither Animal Services nor the veterinarian would euthanize Toby.
“It is legal to shoot your dog in a humane way if it is causing harm or damage to property,” one commissioner actually suggested. It was a comment he would later walk back.
According to Florida State statute 828.058 (4)(a): ”Euthanasia shall be performed only by a licensed veterinarian or an employee or agent of a public or private agency, animal shelter, or other facility.”
According to the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office a report of euthanasia by gunshot would initiate an animal cruelty investigation. However, that is precisely Toby’s owner was determined to do. Enter Kelly and Bob Detwiler.
They took Toby to the Humane Society of the Nature Coast where he was accepted on an emergency basis. Today, in partnership with the trainers at New Sentry K-9 in Brooksville, Toby is learning that not all humans are cruel. “He is making progress all around,” said a recent Facebook post from New Sentry. A video posted with Bob Detwiler even showed the playful puppy that had been cowering inside Toby was finally beginning to emerge.
“Dogs, for a reason that can only be described as divine,” Jennifer Skiff, author of The Divinity of Dogs once said, “have the ability to forgive, let go of the past, and live each day joyously. It’s something the rest of us strive for.”
Indeed, the world is a dangerous place. But it’s the souls who have traveled through the deepest of dark places who can teach us the glory of light… and of the power of love and redemption. We just have to listen.
Good boy, Toby. Good boy.
Toby will be available for adoption in two weeks. The new fur-parent(s) will receive six free lessons at New Sentry K-9 to learn how to understand Toby and to help keep him feeling safe. Interested hoomans should call Humane Society of the Nature Coast Director of Development at (352) 796-2711.