Tom Hohn’s best friend is home.
The Mantecan, whose American Bully named Zeus was taken to the dog pound by city animal control officers because the pit bull was not neutered in violation of an existing ordinance, had every reason to be smiling on Wednesday when his 16-month-old pet was released to him in the morning.
“I was told by my supervisor to release (the dog) due to the fact (the owner) is going to take the dog out of town. I don’t know the whole thing; I’m just doing what I’m told,” said Animal Control Officer Les Rowe who was in the unenviable position as the person who picked up Zeus in front of a visibly upset Hohn.
Rowe’s supervisor is Police Chief Dave Bricker who gave the authorization to let Hohn pick up his pet at the dog pound.
“The owner said they were planning to move the dog immediately out of town,” the chief explained.
Bricker said the agreement was for Hohn to “relocate the dog immediately outside of the city limits of Manteca.
“At that point, the only thing he has to do is to pay the fees for the period of time the dog has been in our custody.”
That amount is $60 for the six days Zeus was at the pound. Rowe said the fee for keeping a dog at the animal facility is $10 a day.
A happy Hohn stopped by the Manteca Bulletin office Wednesday to share his good news.
Michael Delfillo was another friend who was on the receiving end of Hohn’s gratitude on Wednesday. The two are neighbors in the Dutra Farms subdivision east of Airport Way on the south side of the Highway 120 Bypass.
“He was quite emotional – happy emotions – and thanked me. He said he was going to take the dog and go. He and his wife and daughter were on their way to Animal Services. I’m glad he’s taking his dog back. I like to see people in good spirits,” said Delfillo whose letter supporting the release of the dog to Hohn appeared the same day in the Manteca Bulletin.
“He seems like a real nice guy to me. They are an American-style family. I’d see him out of my bedroom window playing with his dog. Tom would sit in a chair – and there’s a chair next to Tom – and the dog would just jump into that chair and the dog would just sit there with him,” Delfillo said.
While Delfillo said, “I don’t know the whole story” as to the Hohns’ plans with Zeus, “I think (Tom) should get a breeder’s permit. Hopefully it’s not really difficult to get that.”
The incident began Thursday, June 30, when Hohn and daughter Rayanne went to Woodward Park and play with Zeus and Rayanne’s Maltese poodle. They were in a fenced-in grassy area at the park that doubles as a storm drain. Hohn said he found out later that someone called animal services about an unleashed pit bull at the park. Zeus had a leash but Rayanne was holding it when Animal Services Officer Les Rowe showed up.
Rowe took Zeus to the dog pound after Hohn told him that the pit bull is not neutered as required by a city ordinance that was adopted in 2008.
Hohn told animal shelter officials he did not know about the ordinance. However, after it was explained to him, he said he did not want his Zeus neutered and that he would “move out of Manteca, with my dog intact.”