Namath dog famous -- and dangerous

Nov. 23, 2009 at 11:06 AM
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PALM BEACH, Fla., Nov. 23 (UPI) -- Former U.S. football great Joe Namath found out how much bite the Palm Beach County, Fla., dog law has when his dog was sentenced to doghouse arrest for life.

The onetime New York Jets quarterback's yellow Labrador retriever, Leo, declared "dangerous" by a special magistrate this month after it allegedly bit three people during a two-year span, the Palm Beach Post reported Monday.

Palm Beach County officials recently tightened their laws against dogs that kill or severely injure other pets. Animal control officials say they're developing a Web site to tell residents how close they live to dogs declared dangerous.

Beside consigning offending pooches to a lifetime ban on public doggie spots, the laws could eat into owners' wallets, the Post said. Owners also can be financially responsible if their dog injures someone.

Namath's 6-year-old dog is banned from places such as dog parks and beaches. If he does venture off the property for a walk, he must be on a leash and wearing a muzzle.

At the magistrate hearing this month, Namath said the incidents for which his dogs -- Leo and Stella, a Weimaraner -- were cited could have been avoided by the UPS deliveryman, irrigation technician and a neighbor's nurse who came on his property.

The case against Stella was dropped when a witness failed to show up for the hearing. Namath has not yet appealed the magistrate's decision on Leo, the Post said.

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