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Old 12-07-2008, 06:57 PM
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Renee750il Renee750il is offline
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Default What To Do If Animal Control Knocks on Your Door

*courtesy Gamedog

WHAT TO DO WHEN ANIMAL CONTROL COMES KNOCKING

by George J. Eigenhauser Jr.

(he is an attorney at law licensed in the State of California since 1979

and practices in the areas of civil litigation and estate planning)

ANTI-DOG ENFORCEMENT - What Every Dog Owner Needs to Know


Dog owners and ethical breeders are increasingly being targeted. Disgruntled neighbors may retaliate against dog owners and may other reasons drive complaints, and anti-dog enforcement action, which many times may be conducted illegally.


The following text outlines methods of inquiry and enforcement which may be used by local officials in attempts to enforce ordinances in your community and suggested techniques of response. These techniques are entirely legal and based upon the rights of citizens as stated by the U.S. Constitution.


No breeder wants to have Animal Control come knocking on the door...but if they do, it will help if you know what your options are.


Remember, Animal Control is law enforcement. They are bound by the same Constitution as any other government agency. To protect yourself, you need to know your rights. These vary slightly one jurisdiction to another, but some general principles apply. One rule applies everywhere: never physically resist an officer.


When Animal Control is At Your Door:


1. Do not let them in, no matter how much they ask. Animal Control generally cannot enter your home without a warrant, or your permission. While regular police can enter in emergency situations when human life is at risk (i.e. they hear gunshots and a scream inside), there are few, if any, situationsin which Animal Control can enter your home without a warrant. Simply tell them they may not comein.


2. If you let them in, anything they find in "plain sight" can be used against you. In some circumstances Animal Control officers, unable to find a legitimate reason to make an arrest, have reported building orzoning violations. This may include caging you attached to a wall without a building permit, that extraoutlet in the puppy room, having more pets than allowed by zoning, even extension cords in violationof fire codes! No matter how clean your kennel, if they want to find a violation, they will.


3. Do not talk to them from an open doorway. Step outside an close (and lock if possible) the door behind you. This is necessary because:


A) Anything they see through the open door is "plain sight" and may be the basis for an arrest, or probable cause for a search warrant.


B) If they make an arrest or even feel threatened they are usually permitted to search for weaponsin your immediate area. Do you keep a baseball bat inside the door for your protection? Even ifyou don't, once they step inside to look, they are in your home and may continue to search.


C) It is hard not to be intimidated by someone in authority. Some animal control is even done bylocal police, who carry guns. It is easy for them to get "in your face", causing you to back upinto the home. Once you go in, it will be interpreted as an invitation to follow.


4. If they claim to have a warrant, demand to see it. In general, a search warrant must be signed by ajudge. A warrant to search your home for dogs does not include an inventory of your jewelry box. Awarrant to search your kennel in the garage or in the barn does not include a search of your home.
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  #2  
Old 12-07-2008, 06:57 PM
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5. In some locations dog owners may have obtained special "breeder permits" that stipulate that AnimalControl has your permission to enter at any time. If you have signed such a permit they still cannotenter against your wishes, since you can revoke the permission at any time. However, if you refusepermission it may allow them to cancel your breeder permit, so you have to weigh the consequences.

6. Warning - anyone in lawful possession of the premises may be able to give permission for a search.Make sure your roommate, babysitter, dog-sitter, housekeeper and other know that they should notlet animal control into your home or on your property (i.e. backyard, garage, etc.).

How to Handle Questions:
1. Don***8217;t answer any questions beyond identifying yourself for the officer. Anything you say to theofficer in your defense cannot be used in court (hearsay). Anything you say that is harmful toyou will be used in court (confessions are not considered hearsay). You cannot win, except by remaining silent.


2. Be polite but firm. Do not argue, bad-mouth, curse, threaten or try to intimidate the officer.


3. Do not lie to an officer, ever. However, it is NOT a lie to exercise your right to remain silent.


4. Keep your hands in plain sight. People have been shot by police when common objects, such as a wallet, were mistaken for a gun.


5. Do not touch the officer in any way. Do not physically resist an officer, no matter how unlawful his or her actions.


6. Don't try to tell your side of the story, it cannot help.


7. Do not threaten the officer that you plan to file a complaint for their actions.


8. If the questioning persists, demand to speak to a lawyer first. Repeat as necessary.


Gathering the Facts:


1. Get the name and badge number of each officer involved. If he/she does not volunteer this information, ask.


2. Ask the name of the agency they represent. Different agencies have different enforcementresponsibilities.


3. Ask why they are there. Request the factual basis of the complaint and the identity of the complainant.


4. If they have other people with them (Humane Society, press, etc.) get the names and organizations for all present.


5. Note the names (and addresses) of any witnesses to the encounter.


6. If you are physically injured by an officer, you should take photographs of the injuries immediately, but do not forego proper medical treatment first.


7. Write down all of the information, as well as the date and time of the incident immediately, while details are fresh in your mind.


8. If you rights are violated, file a complaint with the appropriate body.
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In a controversy the instant we feel anger we have already ceased striving for the truth, and have begun striving for ourselves. ~Buddha

Stupid is the most notoriously incurable and contagious disease known to mankind. If you find yourself in close proximity to someone infected with stupid, walk away as soon as said infection is noted.


There are few things more nauseating than pure obedience. ~ Kvothe

***8206;"silence is the language of god, all else is poor translation."
Rumi
Be a god. Know when to shut up.


Good Kharma Tags
Felurian
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  #3  
Old 12-07-2008, 09:45 PM
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Bahamutt99 Bahamutt99 is offline
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Mahahaha! This is the post that got me banned from the Petfinder forum the first time. It's hot, scary information, folks! Soak it up.
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Old 12-07-2008, 10:04 PM
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Thank you, Renee. Everyone should know their rights as a dog owner.
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Old 12-07-2008, 10:15 PM
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Thank you, Renee. Good stuff.
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Old 12-07-2008, 10:29 PM
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Renee750il Renee750il is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bahamutt99 View Post
Mahahaha! This is the post that got me banned from the Petfinder forum the first time. It's hot, scary information, folks! Soak it up.
Well, you know I always go with hot and scary
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In a controversy the instant we feel anger we have already ceased striving for the truth, and have begun striving for ourselves. ~Buddha

Stupid is the most notoriously incurable and contagious disease known to mankind. If you find yourself in close proximity to someone infected with stupid, walk away as soon as said infection is noted.


There are few things more nauseating than pure obedience. ~ Kvothe

***8206;"silence is the language of god, all else is poor translation."
Rumi
Be a god. Know when to shut up.


Good Kharma Tags
Felurian
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  #7  
Old 12-08-2008, 06:59 AM
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Wow, something to think about! I would've probably invited them right in thinking I have nothing to hide.
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Old 12-08-2008, 07:52 AM
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vanillasugar vanillasugar is offline
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Ugh, animal control here is crazy. I'd NEVER let them into my home.
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Old 12-08-2008, 09:06 AM
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Thank you so much for that information. I'm so printing this out.
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Old 12-08-2008, 09:12 AM
borzoimom borzoimom is offline
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Thank you for sharing this information Renee. I would have thought just let them in.. ( ie come see for yourself.. lol. ) But seeing this, knowing we have firearms around the house.. uh that would not a good idea.. lol
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