OPEN LETTER TO FLORIDA REPRESENTATIVE DOUG HOLDER
May 19, 2012
Via Email only from Official Contact Form
Re: “Scanner’s Law” aka FL. Stat. 413.081 violators have never been prosecuted
Dear Representative Holder,
A potentially meaningful and significant piece of criminal justice legislation for the state
of Florida has been ignored for the past ten years. The victims are disabled voters who
courageously attempt to live independent lives with the use of guide or service dogs.
These brave individuals desperately need your help to see Florida statute 413.081 aka
“Scanner’s Law” actually enforced through criminal prosecutions. The offenders have
not been prosecuted, arrested or held criminally responsible.
I am a friend and attorney for a blind Sarasota man, Mr. Bruce Cole. He was recently
victimized by two aggressive dogs owned by Jameison and Whitney Harney. Mr. Harney
was then and is now, on probation for felony drug charges.
Sarasota Sheriff Deputies passed the case off to Animal Services and Mr. Harney was
issued two citations for no tags/records and another for animal running at large. Both
citations were voidable upon compliance and the civil charges were filed. Neither law
enforcement nor the probation office regards the offense to be a criminal matter.
I contacted a representative of the probation office and explained why even the first
offense, without intent, is indeed a criminal matter. She was receptive and advised me she
would forward the matter to the State Attorney’s office. She also advised me that the Mr.
Harney’s probation office was aware of the incident and had instructed Harney to secure
his front door. Attached is a photo I provided to the probation office showing what might
once have been a fence for the backyard and is most certainly incapable of keeping dogs
within the property.
The guide dog and service dog teams in your state desperately need your help. They must
have Scanner’s Law enforced and the offenders held accountable. I have attached
documentation regarding the incident with Jameison and Whitney Harney’s dogs for your
I am more than happy to assist in any efforts to see FL. Stat. 413.081 properly enforced
and recognized as the meaningful piece of criminal justice legislation it was intended
Mr. Cole’s friends have set up a website and Facebook page where more information
including photos of all parties involved law enforcement records from the event, photos
of the Harney’s dogs, criminal and civil Sarasota court records for Jameison Harney,
open letters to other officials, links to newspaper and televised reports and more is
available for review. I respectfully urge you to go to the website now and see for yourself
why “Scanner’s Law” must be enforced now.