Free Lucy

  • Author:
  • Send To:
    City Council
  • Sponsored By:
  • More Info at:
On July 30th, Ian Young received the call that turned his world upside down. His dog Lucy had escaped his home and allegedly got into a fight with another dog. The other dog, being a small Chihuahua, lost the battle.

Despite a long history of aggravation and provocation from the Chihuahua not only to Lucy, but to Mr. Young, his son and partner of seven years, Desiree Hedberg, the city of Sunnyvale and the courts of Santa Clara decided that simply ordering Lucy out of the city or declaring her a potentially dangerous dog was not enough.

Lucy has been ordered killed after three appeals.

Lucy has been part of the Young family for six years, and has worked closely with many dogs from foster associations around the bay area, helping shelter dogs to be socialized. She is a doting mother-dog to their 2-year old son Liam and an integral part of the family.

Under California Law, Lucy would be considered a potentially dangerous dog - she would be free to live, but with restrictions such as having to carry supplemental insurance, and muzzling in public. There are many other options for Lucy other than death. In fact, under the Sunnyvale Municipal Code, Lucy could have been ordered back home with restrictions, or ordered out of the city.

Traditionally, this has what has always been done on a first offense, especially given the fact that she was provoked and poses no threat to humans or other animals.

Despite this being her first offense, the city of Sunnyvale is adamant that she is so dangerous, that she must die.

Even the City's own animal behaviorist had said in her own report, that Lucy is a very friendly, well-socialized dog. The Young's behaviorist gave Lucy a 0 out of 10 for human aggression and even represented them for free in court; such was the strength of her convictions.

During one of the motions in Superior Court, even the Judge stated, "I would love to keep Lucy alive by ordering her out of the city." Despite his discretion to do so, he ultimately caved to the pressure of the city.

Lucy has made such an impact on the lives of those around her, that she has friends on the Sunnyvale Chamber of Commerce asking for leniency, over 25 sworn declarations attesting to her good nature, the two lawyers (Shannon Keith and Christine Garcia) that Young hired are now representing them pro-bono, such is the strength of feeling that Lucy has evoked in all who know her.

Lucy has been impounded since the incident at the Santa Clara Humane Society.

On December 12, 2007, Lucy's family, along with several other members of the community, presented their plea in front of the Sunnyvale City Council. We urge the Council to reconsider its position this Tuesday, December 18, 2007.

We ask City Council to exercise its jurisdiction and power to order Lucy released from custody and returned home.