In May of 2005 Nikki, the sleek Black and Tan Doberman became the poster dog for the Humane Society of Broward County's highly successful "Break the Chain" educational campaign, a campaign designed to educate the public about the cruelties of chaining / tethering dogs.
Nikki was chosen as the poster dog for this program because she was so cruelly tethered during the first years of her life that her choker chain collar became embedded in her neck and had to be surgically removed. Nikki was found wandering the streets of a Miami-Dade County neighborhood by the Animal Control Officer's of that Police Department's animal control unit. As fate would have it the television network "Animal Planet's Miami Animal Police series" was riding along with the Animal Control Officer on the day of Nikki's rescue in November of 2004. Due to the severity of her wound, Nikki was taken to the Humane Society of Broward County for her lifesaving surgery and subsequent re-homing.
The Humane Society of Broward County, with Nikki enlisted as the "spokes dog", set out to educate the public city by city to have tough anti-chaining laws passed to protect our four legged friends. Nikki became a registered educational K-9 and worked tirelessly visiting schools, summer camps, and city and town council meetings educating the young and old about the cruelties of chaining dogs. Eleven cities in Broward County have adopted tough new anti-tethering laws largely in part to Nikki's participation; and one Town, the Town of Southwest Ranches where Nikki resided passed their anti-tethering law on June 18th 2009 naming it "Nikki's Law" in honor of the persuasive K-9. Nikki was proudly in attendance at this, her last public appearance.
Nikki died on Sunday, October 18th, 2009 after a brief battle with cancer. While in the arms of her loving adoptive parents Nikki slipped the surly bonds of this earth.
I ask the Broward County Commission to re-consider passing a County-wide law that would ban the cruel chaining of dogs. I ask Florida State Senator Nan Rich and Representative Martin David Kiar to try again to convince the State of Florida to consider legislation for a State-wide law that would ban the cruel chaining of dogs.
I humbly request that Nikki's efforts do not die with her. Please help her legacy live on to protect our K-9 friends from this common form of animal abuse known as chaining.
We the undersigned respectfully request that you, as our lawmakers and representatives, take the time to read this petition and its comments.
Governor Crist commented on this subject in a letter to %u201CNikki%u2019s%u201D owner, Tony Vincent, on January 22nd, 2007 commending him on his educational work with Nikki.
State Senator Nan Rich previously attempted to introduce an anti-chaining law within the Florida State Senate, along with her co-sponsor Bill Heller. Representative Martin David Kiar has long show support of a law that would end the cruel chaining of dogs.
Please let the Great State of Florida join the growing ranks of other Great States such as California, Texas, Nevada, Connecticut, Tennessee, Delaware, Maryland, Michigan, Vermont, Maine, North Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia who have already passed tough anti-chaining laws in their states.
Please Florida Lawmakers, do the right thing. The State of Florida knows that dogs deserve better.
Thank you so much for taking the time to read this letter. We look forward to hearing from you.