HdG Woman Jailed for Pooches Running Wild Gets Her Dogs Back

The dogs had been staying in Cecil County until a court ruling on Wednesday.

Mary Magdalene Root, 81. (Screenshot from CBS News)
Mary Magdalene Root, 81. (Screenshot from CBS News)
The Havre de Grace woman who was jailed for letting her dogs run loose in Webster Village will be getting her pooches back.

As part of an agreement with Harford County, Mary Magdalene Root, 81, will pay a $500 fine after she was charged with letting seven dogs run loose—four of which she was watching for her daughter—and neglecting to obtain dog licenses, according to The Aegis.

Root spent two nights in jail last month for failing to appear for a February court date regarding the animal violations, which stemmed from photographs her neighbor took of the dogs running loose in 2013, WJZ reported.

According to WBAL, Root missed the February hearing because of medical reasons and Judge Mimi Cooper ruled that notes from her doctor didn't cut it; Cooper ordered her to be incarcerated with bail set at $2,500.

Root, of the 4100 block of Oak Drive, was committed at the Harford County Detention Center on March 5 and released the following day, court records show. She was released after a stranger posted bail.

The dogs, who have been staying at her daughter's house in Cecil County since Cooper forbade the woman from having them in Havre de Grace, will be coming home this weekend, on the condition that Root have a lock on her gate and a door bell, which WJZ reports a contractor has volunteered to install.

Harford County State's Attorney Joseph Cassilly told The Aegis there were "innumerable attempts" to get her to control the dogs in the past several years—authorities had been to the property approximately 40 times.

Among the complaints from neighbors were that the dogs would defecate on neighbors' property, bark and knock over trash cans, Cassilly said.

An online petition at Change.org received more than 3,600 signatures, calling for Harford County to drop the charges against Root and allow her to keep her dogs.

Charges against Root were not pursued in court, and she will be able to keep her pets. However, if the dogs get out again, they may be taken from her without any court proceedings, WBAL reported.

Related: Penalty for Letting Dogs Run? 81-Year-Old Harford County Woman Gets Jail
wileyb.1 April 14, 2014 at 12:15 PM
Are all these ‘helpful friends’ planning to continue oversight of this woman? If the animals are not properly cared for, they will still be a neighborhood menace. Getting into neighbors trash suggests they are hungry. Anyone with multiple animals knows a previously neglected dog (like an adopted stray) will take the food of the others and often must be fed separately. And if they were not all licensed, are they all fixed? An animal in heat will roam, and will find a way out of that fence. The charitable mentality in hdg often enables problems rather than solving them with the number of ‘do-gooder bullies’ around here.
PH April 15, 2014 at 12:48 PM
That judge is a bully, too.
wileyb.1 April 17, 2014 at 01:40 PM
The judge took RESPONSIBILITY for the public health and safety of that entire neighborhood, not an easy task in this world of ever-increasing whiners, but is her job, like saving people from themselves. Feel free to google any words or phrases not fully understood.
wileyb.1 April 17, 2014 at 01:42 PM
And according to the “facts you should know” mailed with the property tax bill in Harford county, having 6 (six) or more domestic animals requires a KENNEL LICENSE. Pretty nice, compared to some other county limits. Don’t worry, I won’t even ask……
Linda Hoffecker April 17, 2014 at 04:50 PM
What a good reminder and no extra mailing costs~


More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »