I'd like to respond to the Nevada Appeal's news report (Oct. 26 and 27) regarding the pending lawsuit against Animal Control being initiated by my son, Ed Soetje. Like any parent, I would prefer to be in a position to support and defend the actions of my son. To do so in this case would not only be irresponsible but hypocritical.
Needless to say, my son does not have my blessing in this action.
Whomever is advising my son is doing a disservice to him, the family and Carson City.
The attorney representing him insinuates that the entire family is supporting this lawsuit. Nothing could be further from the truth. Most of the family including myself was unaware of it until we read the newspaper.
The attorney is also attempting to lead one to believe that the medical bills have not yet been paid in full. This is also false. The settlement made by my insurance company was more than generous. Any additional payment would be unjustified enrichment.
One must be reminded that my son lives in the Bay Area, the "Litigation Capital" of the world. In that part of the country, people file lawsuits in lieu of procuring part-time work.
The defense by Animal Control should be a simple one. All they have to do is to tell the truth and present the facts. When the story was first reported to the Appeal in June of 1998, Mike Conklin (Director of Animal Services) alleged that my dog, Miko, had received numerous complaints. Mr. Conklin had not done his homework. He soon recanted his statement and admitted to KTVN Channel 2 News of Reno that the complaints had no merit. I have this interview on tape in the event it may help the defense. In fact, Miko was only 2 years old and had never received a citation.
Therefore, Animal Control merely has to admit that they exaggerated the disposition of the dog and overplayed their hand.
In addition, Animal Control will have to acknowledge that the action brought against my wolf-hybrid, Miko, was motivated by hearsay, emotion and vindictiveness rather than facts.
I had hoped that this episode was behind us, but instead it has become an ongoing saga. My granddaughter has recovered, my dog has been destroyed via a court order and I spent six days in jail on the incorrect premise that I have an infatuation with vicious animals. My weekend cell mates in Cell Block G affectionately referred to me as Pops ... the guy doing time for his dog.
In closing, I will welcome any readers' questions and input. I'm in the phone book.