Murfreesboro man arrested for not getting rabies shot for dog

Daniel and Natalle Gladden
Daniel and Natalle Gladden with Horatio

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (WKRN) – A Murfreesboro man accused of not renewing his dog’s rabies vaccine was arrested.

Until Friday, Daniel Gladden had a spotless record. That changed, however, when his car slid off the road in the ice Thursday night and the officer that helped him ran his license and registration. He then told him there was a warrant out for his arrest.

Gladden said, “I was shocked. I’ve never been in trouble in my life.”

He said because it was such a minor offense the officer did not arrest him that night.

Events leading up to Gladden’s legal trouble began on Jan. 3 when the Gladdens’ great Pyrenees mix, Horatio, escaped from their backyard and was caught by a Rutherford County Pet Adoption and Welfare Services (PAWS) officer.

The officer requested proof of a current rabies vaccine for Horatio and the Gladden’s other pets, Moon Pie and Tiger. The Gladdens could not immediately produce proof.

PAWS left a letter at their door on Jan. 27, requesting proof by 6 p.m. or a citation would be issued.

That night Natalle Gladden provided proof of Moon Pie and Tiger’s vaccinations but not Horatio’s. Natalle said she was under the impression the documentation she provided was sufficient and that they would not receive a ticket or citation.

A PAWS representative told News 2 the Gladdens were still responsible for producing proof of Horatio’s current rabies vaccine and the department issued a citation for Daniel to appear in court.

According to the Gladdens, they were not made aware that a citation had been issued and did not know they were supposed to go to PAWS to sign the citation confirming receipt of it. On Feb. 4, three business days after the citation went unsigned, PAWS issued an arrest warrant for Daniel.

The charge on the warrant was “Violation of Vaccination.”

Daniel surrendered to the Rutherford County Sheriff’s Office for booking on Friday. He posted $250 bond and was released. His court date is set for later in March.

PAWS told News 2 they have had problems with citizens failing to vaccinate their pets and the department is simply trying to enforce state law. PAWS said repeated home calls are a waste of the county’s resources but acknowledged filing arrest warrants regarding rabies vaccines is a tough punishment.

According to PAWS, on average, one or two people are arrested each month on the charge.

“I feel violated. I feel like they kind of went to extremes, something that didn’t have to be done this way,” said Daniel.

The Gladdens said while they loved their animals, they planned to surrender them to PAWS for good.

“It’s not worth having to wonder, worry about going to jail over,” explained  Natalle.

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