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Penalty for Letting Dogs Run? 81-Year-Old Harford County Woman Gets Jail

Judge ordered woman held until "stranger" posted bail.

Woman jailed for unleashed dogs.
Woman jailed for unleashed dogs.

Who says the law has no bite?

An 81-year-old woman who lives near Havre de Grace was thrown in jail overnight for allegedly letting her dogs run unleashed a year ago, The Baltimore Sun reported.

Mary Magdalene Root was jailed on $2,500 bail Wednesday and kept overnight at Harford County Detention Center before posting bail, the paper reported.

Root, who was present through a closed-circuit TV hookup from the Harford County Detention Center, had a bail hearing before Harford County District Court Judge Mimi Cooper in Bel Air Wednesday afternoon.

Tatiana David, of the public defender's office, asked the judge to release Root on her own recognizance, since Root had no prior convictions and needed to deal with her failing health, according to the Sun.

Cooper said no, the paper reported. The judge ordered that Root be held in lieu of $2,500 bail and, if she posted bond and was released, to have no animals on her property.

Root was released from jail early Thursday morning after a person family members characterized as a "stranger" paid the required 10 percent of her bail, $250, the paper reported. Vantina Gifford, 52, of Charlestown, said her mother is resting at her home in Cecil County and brought the dogs with her.

And how fierce were those dogs? One was a terrier mix and the other a chihuahua. 

Linda Hoffecker March 16, 2014 at 03:42 PM
For an incident like this to get so out of control is ridiculous.. People sometimes are so passionate about things that mean zilch to others i.e., that they throw common sense aside. Some don't realize the consequences of their actions due to whatever reason from mental problems or just a lower functioning mental system. I am an animal rights advocate and you would not want to know what I'd like to do to anyone who abuses and abandons animals. But because there are laws in place and some bits of common sense thrown in, those things will not happen.. Someone has to take control of certain situations and defuse them. Who should that person be?
Harford County Native March 16, 2014 at 08:04 PM
The problem could have been diffused starting with the daughter taking responsibility for at least 5 of the 7 citations since they were her dogs. Why would she leave her 81 year old mother take the full rap for the dogs getting out? Come on people if they let every senior citizen off especially after they have received warnings they would have to change the rules for everyone. If you fail to appear before court or pay your fines and this has happened more than once it is a continuing problem. If you cannot afford to keep your pets then you shouldn't have them.
PH March 17, 2014 at 12:34 AM
If that is the case, then the daughter is truly the one responsible. Therefore, SHE should have been thrown in jail, not her mother! 81 years old??? What did that teach her? Regardless of fault, the dumbazz judge is a bitch and needs to go back to law school.
PH March 17, 2014 at 12:34 AM
How can a grown woman treat her mother like that? How?
PH March 17, 2014 at 12:37 AM
Warning: Don't EVER get involved in the judicial system. Once you're there it's game on. They control you. Period.

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