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Hampton family feels blindsided by Globe Gazette and community as pet ordered out of town

This is not an act of revenge but I feel the need to tell my side of the story which clearly differs from the story that was published in the Globe Gazette today.

(Submitted to by Alison Helmke)

As a parent and a pet owner I feel the need to share this story. We adopted a black lab approximately two years ago. I was not sold on having a big dog but my husband insisted we just go and look. He was at a private residence and his living conditions were less than sufficient for a puppy. We decided to adopt him and he has been a part of my family since. He has grown up with my daughter who is 2 1/2 and also my 8 yr old son. He has brought us so much joy that it breaks my heart to have to get rid of him.

This nightmare started last summer when Herky was attacked several times by the neighbor’s dogs with injury. As a neighbor I chose not to report this to the police because I didn’t feel like it was the right thing to do. Hindsight, I would have called every time they touched my property! This continued to be a problem until Herky was ordered to be removed from Hampton.

This is not an act of revenge but I feel the need to tell my side of the story which clearly differs from the story that was published in the Globe Gazette today. Herky did bite my neighbor this summer, however, there was no mention of him being intoxicated on MY back step and he grabbed my arm. He had just had an altercation with the police and was upset. My dog was only doing what you would hope any dog would. Defending me!

In another incident, the Hampton Police Dept called my husband. My dog had supposedly broken off of our tie-out, which was meant for a 200 lb dog and attacked the neighbor’s dogs. Once again, my dog was the only one with injuries.

This October my dog was accidently let out of the house by my daughter. He was still on a leash and the incident that was discussed at the city council meeting is accurate. I take full responsibility for my dog biting her and it was a terrible tragedy for both of us.

I was unable to attend the meeting and Chief Beltran assured me that there would be no harm in not attending. Had I known that a one sided story that portrayed my animal as a monster would appear on the front page of the newspaper I would have been there!

Herky has been adopted by a family that lives outside of Sheffield with young children and he brings them as much joy as he brought to us.

The Globe Gazette will not give me the chance to respond the comments so I just want our side to be heard! Judgments are being passed about my family and our beloved pet without knowing what really happened. I feel like I should defend him like he defended our family.

Publisher’s Note, by Matt Marquardt: did speak with Mrs. Helmke prior to publishing her story. Mrs. Helmke regrets the dog bite incidents but feels there is much more to this story and wanted to tell her side of it. She was clear that she only wanted to tell her story so that people might understand how this has affected her family.

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