Woman Fights County Fine for Deceased Dog

Dogs have always been an important part of Nanette Carmody’s life. She spends her days spoiling Luna and Lola, but her heart will always belong to Sweet Pea.

“The love of my life,” Nanette said. “We did everything together.”

In March 2018, Nanette had to make the difficult decision to euthanize Sweet Pea after her health had deteriorated.

“I’m still not over it,” she told NBC 6 Responds. “I never had children, so she was one of my children.”

Nanette said Sweet Pea was euthanized at the vet and that she paid for a private cremation. Then, in June 2019, she received a notice from Miami-Dade County issuing her a fine for $65 for “Failure to Obtain Required License Tag for Sterilized Dog.”

“I got very, very emotional when I got the violation notice,” she said. “I just knew that there had to be something wrong somewhere.”

Nanette said she called the county and was told they were never notified of Sweet Pea’s death. When they suggested she contact her vet, she said she did that. Her veterinarian emailed the county a copy of Sweet Pea’s death certificate, so Nanette said she thought the situation had been resolved until she got a second notice.

“And at that point, I called you,” she said. “You just get so frustrated.”

A spokesperson for the county told NBC 6 Responds they send out tag renewal notices about 60 days before they’re due and that on those notices, there is a section for pet owners to “ if their pet was lost, given away or has passed away.” The county said they were not notified of Sweet Pea’s death in that time frame. Still, they said “...the citation has been closed with no further action required by the owner”.

Nanette said she never received a renewal notice and doesn’t remember ever having to notify the county of the death of any of her other pets, who had also been registered with the county. Still, she was happy to close this chapter of Sweet Pea’s story.

“A big sigh of relief,” she said.

If you lose a pet, you should ask your vet for a death certificate to keep in your records. You should also be proactive and report any changes to Miami-Dade County by dialing 311.

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