Princeton, a Landscaper, and a Dog

In Princeton, New Jersey, the dog is King. Not for loyalty or companionship. But for attacking a Honduran lanscaper. Apparently, for certain segments of those in Princeton, the great injustice is not that the eighty-five pound German shepherd has been sentenced to die, but that the dog didn’t kill the Honduran landscaper. Reports say that efforts are being made by the local board to curb the immigrant population through directed shootings and dog attacks. New Jersey economists insist that it will increase property values, descrease the price of gasoline, and help with the war on terror.

My goodness. Can you beleive this crap?

A Landscaper Is Mauled, and an Outpouring of Sympathy Goes to the Dog


It’s man versus beast in Princeton, and the town is in an uproar over a dog on death row. The curious case of Congo, an 85-pound German shepherd sentenced to die for attacking a Honduran landscaper, is making its way through New Jersey’s courts. Protesters have packed the courtrooms here and have staged rallies waving signs that say “Free Congo!” And the landscaper, Giovanni Rivera, who suffered a six-inch bite wound and other injuries, has been vilified by some of the dog’s supporters in this well-to-do Ivy League town, who have been sending newspapers and blogs angry anti-immigrant slurs.

“The dog deserves an award,” said one posting to The Princeton Packet Web site. “One less Mexican alien is a boost to society.”
State Assemblyman Neil M. Cohen, a Democrat from Union, has introduced legislation, which he calls Congo’s Law, that could spare the life of Congo and other dogs in similar situations by giving judges more discretion in meting out punishment.

And now, thousands of people from Princeton and elsewhere are petitioning the governor for a pardon. (There is precedent for such things in New Jersey.)


5 thoughts on “Princeton, a Landscaper, and a Dog

  1. This is a most interesting article on several levels. Mr. Rivera had to endure a very painful series of anti-rabies injections because the owners of the dog were irresponsible in not having it vaccinated.
    No where in the article do the owners feel any remorse on what damages the dog ravaged on the landscaper. The owners have taken no responsibility and feel vindicated by a dog behaviorist stating the canine was doing its job (protecting the owners).
    The people asking for a ‘dog pardon’ need to have a reality check – where is the sympathy for a human mauled, supposedly only because he showed up for employment a bit earlier than expected?
    I am an animal lover and hold all living beings in hight regard – but I also have compassion and common sense.
    Thanks for bringing this article to the fore –

  2. i read this article before and i even checked out the local paper’s website, the princeton packet, and you would be surprised to see the crap some people write in the commentaries shout box. things such as “give the dog a job at the border patrol”, and an endless discussion about how the dog should be pardoned since it didnt do anything wrong whatsoever.
    it’s disgusting, i really wonder as to what levels of xenophobia this country is reaching. the debate on immigration is complicated and multifaceted but this kind of behavior and opinion is just not acceptable. or am i wrong?

  3. Dear ebbandflow and juanluis:

    You are right to claim that what is going on is idiotic. Despite all the “progress” this country has made, you have to remember that it was only 50 odd years ago that segregation was legal (now its just de facto). We have a really, really long way to go . . . of course, if the damn dogs don’t eat us first!!!

    Thanks for letting me know about the other developments in the case.

    Mr. Cheeseburger 9000

  4. “No where in the article do the owners feel any remorse on what damages the dog ravaged on the landscaper. The owners have taken no responsibility and feel vindicated by a dog behaviorist stating the canine was doing its job (protecting the owners).”

    well if the worker would have payed attention to the owner of the dog and stayed in his truck as directed . there would not have been a problem. but he dicided to be stupid and get out and go about his business and got what he diserved. why is it in todays society that nobody takes responcibility for there own stupidity I work in retail and I cant tell you how many times we put up large signs stating ( please do not use ) and other such signs and I have seen people look at and read the signs but still go right ahead and do what we are directing them not to then get pissed when somthing bad happens ( DUH ) its not that hard. is it just me or since the early to mid 1900’s are people just getting stupider.

  5. Dear Micah C,

    Thank you for your comment. Although I agree there is a general stupidity flowing through society, I can’t agree with your analogy that your experience in the retail industry compares at all with the ordeal of the worker who was mauled almost to death by the dog and the ridiculous reaction by those in the community.

    However, what’s most interesting about your post is the very stupidity that you discuss is the very one you are advocating.

    Mr. Cheeseburger 9000

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