The dogs that live with Jeremy and Nicole Williams’ family are big and yellow. Koda and Kenai sometimes bark and get excited, just like every dog who enjoys attention, but according to the Williams, the dogs have never and would never hurt anyone.
The Williams’ niece with Koda.
“My five-year-old rides these dogs like a horse,” Jeremy said. “And I have statements from almost everyone I know that these dogs don’t hurt anybody, and the kids play with them roughly. There is no basis in these claims.”
Even with the support of their family and friends, the Williams say that Rushford Village has filed a lawsuit against them for keeping “dangerous dogs,”claiming that Koda and Kenai have aggressively barked at people as they walked by and even attempted to attack a young child. If the city wins, the Williams will have to put down their dogs and pay all attorney fees, an amount of money Jeremy knows the family does not have.
“I can hardly afford a lawyer right now, so I am trying everything to defend myself the best that I can,” Jeremy said.
The most troubling part of the situation is that the Williams have never seen any of the documents which claim that their dogs have attacked or attempted to attack anyone. A sentiment that is reiterated by Lieutenant Brian Miner of the Fillmore County Sheriff’s Department, the county where charges would generally be filed regarding an incident with either of the Williams’ dogs.
“No, we have not received any complaints,” Lieutenant Miner said when asked if his office had received complaints regarding the Williams’ dogs. “I actually just checked in our records manual system.”
The Williams also claim that Rushford Village has expressed problems with their fence. “They said that the fence was not sufficient enough, yet the dogs have jumped on it and it has contained them,” Jeremy said.
More often than not, the dogs stay inside under the watchful eye of Nicole, who is a stay-at-home mother that closely monitors her children as well as her two dogs. Jeremy and Nicole believe that there is another layer to what is happening with the dogs, which involves their neighbors and the loss of peace and quiet that they might have grown accustomed to prior to the Williams moving in.
“This all started a few years ago; our neighbors next to us have lived there quite a while,” Jeremy explained. “They are older gentlemen who like their peace and quite, so when we moved in with kids and dogs it was a change from their normal routine.”
As of the end of the day on Friday 1,488 people had signed the Williams’ Change.org petition that asks the Rushford Village City Council to drop its case against the family.
“What they are doing is also unfair to the taxpayers,” Jeremy said. “We have to make the community aware of how their tax dollars are being used.”