Conover, North Carolina – Firu, a two-year-old American bulldog mix had been tied to a truck in Mecklenburg County while his owner was allegedly at a party. Unfortunately his owner and companion, Agustin Martinez, 26 and Jose Guebara-Cerda, 30 drove off and Firu, despite a witness yelling for the truck to stop, was dragged and suffered massive injuries.
Firu’s injuries were horrible. His pads and toenails were ripped off, and he had severe road rash on his shoulders and chest; so severe that his skin was ripped away from his body. Firu underwent 11 surgeries to help him heal. He spent more than 48 days at the veterinary hospital recovering from his wounds. And if his egregious injuries from being dragged wasn’t enough for any young dog, Firu was also heartworm positive.
Firu’s plight became national news – so much that Ellen DeGeneres and PetSmart sent his rescuer, Samantha Hodge of Barks and Wiggles Boxer Rescue Org. donations to help defray the tremendous costs of Firu’s fight for life. A Facebook page, dedicated to the dog’s recovery attracted thousands of well-wishers and opinions.
The animal cruelty case against Martinez and Cerda has not yet been heard and is not expected to be heard until sometime in November, but other legal business has been making national news about Firu, Samantha Hodge and the two men charged with animal cruelty. Their attorney, Cynthia Everson, who is also defending the men against their animal cruelty charges has filed a 12 page lawsuit against Samantha Hodge, the Animal Hospital of East Burke, the doctors at the hospital, public officials, and Facebook members who have posted their opinions about the defendants.
Everson’s filings state defamatory statements against Martinez and Cerda have cost them embarrassment and harm. Comments on Facebook alleged the men to have been drinking the day of the incident, calling the men undocumented aliens and calling them evil and sick.The lawsuit contends the remarks
“made or caused them to have been made numerous statements threatening the plaintiffs.”
An outpouring of support for Samantha Hodge has been overwhelming, however Hodge can not comment on the lawsuit as per instructions from her own attorney who is currently drafting a response to the allegations. Facebook fans are calling the lawsuit “frivolous” and “terrible” and have responded with a new Facebook page entitled F.I.R.U. or Friends in Rescue United. There are nearly 3,000 people who have “liked” the page.
What do you think about this?