IMMOKALEE, Fla. - An Immokalee woman's dog is killed right in front of her by dangerous dogs in the neighborhood, but she says the whole incident could have been avoided. Now, this dog lover is taking her concerns to commissioners to get changes made at Domestic Animal Services.
"After I got the phone call I saw the two dogs over there in that pasture," Mary Barfield explains as she points to right outside her fenced in property off State Road 29.
A friend called the Immokalee resident one day last month to come outside because one of her dogs was in trouble.
"The German shepherd had the dog and he was just doing like this at it, and the pit bull was just bark over the whole thing," Barfield tells WINK News as she emulates tugging motions of the German shepherd.
Cletus Earl, a bloodhound not even a year old, didn't have a chance against the two dogs. DAS euthanized the dogs responsible; however, Barfield says the whole thing could have been avoided. She called DAS just a week before about a neighbor breaking the leash law, letting his aggressive dogs run loose.
Amanda Townsend with DAS says they were never able to get in contact with Barfield by phone or otherwise, "we responded to that call and we were not able to locate her address."
Records show Immokalee is one of the busiest areas in the county, which is why Barfield wants a permanent officer for the area. She's even gone to commissioners with the request, but thinks she already knows what their answer will be.
"They're of course going to say budget, budget, budget. That's the first thing they blame it on, but you know that doesn't fly."
Staff cuts have officers working 24 hours shifts to be more resourceful, but Townsend says it creates a different problem, "that means the officers are working larger geographic zones." Making it harder to be everywhere, for every dog owner in need.
Barfield is fighting to get a DAS officer at the Immokalee satellite station even if budget cuts get worse next year.