Foust Law Office October 2019

So, you’ve decided to get a dog. Maybe you think your kids could use a new playmate, or maybe you and your spouse want someone to join you on morning walks. Whatever the reason, the next question is where to get them. Instead of paying exorbitant amounts of money to a breeder for a purebred puppy, why not check the local shelter or humane society? October is Adopt a Shelter Dog Month, and, if you’re looking to get a dog, here are a few reasons to check the shelters first. IT’S CHEAPER TO ADOPT Adoption prices include the up-front expenses, such as spaying, neutering, and vaccinations, that you wouldn’t get from a breeder or pet store. Some shelters even include the cost of microchipping in their fee. If you adopt from a shelter, you’re ensured a healthy, happy dog. With some shelter dogs, you may also save on housebreaking and training costs. LOTS OF CHOICES Is there a specific breed you’re looking for? Chances are you will find it at the shelter. Shelter dogs come in all shapes, sizes, and ages. Some organizations rescue specific breeds, and with a little research, you may find one near you. Even if you don’t find the breed you’re looking for, you may find an indispensable companion in a breed you weren’t looking for — and you never would have found them if you didn’t check the shelters. WHERE SHOULD I GET A DOG? 3 Reasons to Adopt From Your Local Shelter

Insulted and a little afraid, Purtell’s neighbors called the police to have the headstones removed. After a couple of visits, Officer Bruce Mason arrived and threatened to arrest Purtell if he didn’t take the tombstones down. Purtell obliged, but the matter wasn’t put to rest. THE VERDICT Purtell sued Officer Mason on the grounds of violating his rights to free speech, and the case made it all the way to the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. Judge Sykes ruled that the tombstones did not constitute fighting words and were protected under the First Amendment. However, she also ruled that Officer Mason was entitled to qualified immunity, as any reasonable officer would act the same under the circumstances. The bigger question might be how this case made it all the way to the U.S. Court of Appeals. As Judge Sykes wrote in her opinion, “Lawsuits like this one cast the legal profession in a bad light and contribute to the impression that Americans are an overlawyered and excessively litigious people.” HALLOWEENDECORATIONS OR FIGHTINGWORDS? A Grave Legal Matter GREAT FOR YOUR KIDS Having a dog can be great for your kids, and getting it from a shelter can be even better for them. Dogs encourage kids to play outside and be more active, and kids gain a friend who loves them unconditionally. Plus, if you adopt, the act of giving an unwanted animal a new home can teach your kids empathy. If you still haven’t checked your local shelter for the newest member of your family, what are you waiting for? Find a furry friend you and your kids will love today!

We’ve all played a harmless trick or two, but sometimes, Halloween shenanigans get out of hand. They can lead to hurt feelings, outraged neighbors, and, in the case of Purtell v. Mason, a lawsuit. In the days leading up to Halloween, all was not quiet in the village of Bloomingdale. Previously parked in a storage unit, Jeff and Vicki Purtell’s 38-foot RV was now parked in front of their house. In protest, neighbors petitioned to town officials, wanting an ordinance put in place to prohibit RV parking on residential property. While the ordinance was under consideration, Jeff Purtell took matters into his own hands. He erected six wooden tombstones in his front yard. They seemed to be innocuous Halloween decorations, but these tombstones displayed a special message for the neighbors. Each headstone was inscribed with a sarcastic message and house number, implying the occupants’ death dates. These messages soon caught the neighbors’ attention.

“Bette wasn’t ready, but here she lies, ever since that night she died. Twelve feet deep in this trench, still wasn’t deep enough for that stench! 1690.”

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