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Old 10-23-2012, 05:24 PM
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HappyPuppy HappyPuppy is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2010
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Default Don't 'rescue' stray dogs Mississippi!

SMH !!!


In Mississippi, it is illegal for any person to steal, take, or carry away another person's dog. It seems clear that the law prohibits theft of another person's dog. However, what happens when ownership of the dog isn't clear and the dog is found wandering around? Apparently, in Mississippi, if you try to help a dog who looks like a stray, but isn't actually a stray, you could be arrested.

Would you take in and help a "stray" dog do if you were in this situation?

dog owners claim rescuer stoleStephanie Mitchell, director at Drifter's Place Animal Rescue did. She found a dog wandering on the side of the highway in Oxford, Mississipi. The dog did not have tags, so she took the dog home for the night. She spent the next half day trying to find the owners. After trips to three veterinarians and a nearby gas station, she put the dog's picture on Facebook. Within an hour, she said a friend identified the owners.

Then the dog's rescue took an unexpected turn. Mitchell said one of the dog owners accused her of stealing the dog and they argued over the phone. After the argument she dropped the dog off a vet and told the owners to pick him up there.

"Later on that afternoon I received a phone call that I was to come to the sheriff's department because I had a warrant out for my arrest," Mitchell recalled. She was charged with dog napping.

Mississippi law states that any person who steals, takes, or carries away another person's dog can be indicted on the felony charge. Mitchell understands the law's purpose, but doesn't feel it applies in her situation. She wants to change the law so people don't feel afraid to help an animal in trouble.

"If I see a dog in distress, I'm going to help it, and I don't want to be arrested," said Mitchell. Of the police's duties she said: "They have a job to do, just like we do, but it's not appropriate in this case. There was no intent to steal a dog, obviously."
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