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« Enforcing Breed Specific Laws is expensive | Main | Knowing what to expect from proposed animal control laws »

June 04, 2009

Comments

MichelleD

Its not about protecting the animals or punishing the guilty - its about shutting down "puppy mills". I'm sure they told them "sign over the dogs and we won't press charges".

Everytime I hear about one of these busts I think about all the shelter cages they "cleaned out" to house these new dogs. No one has 240 cages sitting around...

In KS, a guy got out of felony cock fighting charges by paying a $45k fine. They killed the birds and got a bunch of cash so its a win/win as far as they're concerned.

Carianne

Let me note a great fact from Avon Lake. They have had 0, let me say it again 0, reported dog bites from a "pit bull" in their area. But, they have had one dog of another breed that has supposedly life flighted two people to an area hospital. Yes, you read this correctly. I am scratching my head on this one as well.

Realistically, the Law Director's title should change to Law Detractor.

YesBiscuit!

I can't understand why more people aren't upset over these kinds of incidents. I mean, I guess they will be if/when it happens to them...

KC KS Kills Dogs

I noted this little tidbit in the newspaper article as well. I am just wondering what those additions will be that are going to wave a magic wand over breed identification and solve this mystery.

Additions to the ordinances will combat confusion about the variety of breeds resembling pit bulls by expanding the definition of a pit to any dog that has the predominate appearance and characteristics of a straffordshire bull terrier, American pit bull terrier or an American straffordshire terrier

Unfortunately it's going to take a lot of $$ and time to legally challenge the blatant violation of pit bull owners Constitutional violations.

I challenge OH to just write exactly what is on their minds - there is no due process for "dark skinned pit bull owners", because we think only those types own these dogs.

Brent

KCK,

It really is a scary proposition. So the new ordinance defines a dog as any with the "predominate appearance" of one of the 'pit bull' breeds -- and if the dog is declared to have those characteristics, they have stated that there is no due process for appealing it. So anyone who owns pretty much any dog (but particularly if you own any mollasar, Boxer, Am. Bulldog, Shar Pei, Lab, etc) you could have your dog confiscated with absolutely no recourse.

EmilyS

I don't think that states are allowed to override the Constitution, even in today's "rights, what rights?" climate.

It will take someone suing (again) to beat some sense into the state AG.

EmilyS

wait a minute! The AG wrote:

"However, the Attorney General writes in today’s opinion that cities and counties can adopt effective local ordinances by duplicating the state law, but only if they add a system of due process assuring that the accused dog owner has the opportunity to contest the animal control officer's conclusion that the dog is dangerous or
vicious. "

How can they exclude pit bulls under that opinion???

Are you reading the opinion differently, or am I missing something?

Marthina McClay

KC quote: "But let's do it the right way: with proper due process, proper trials, charges being filed, and cases handled. I think violating the Constitution is a pretty serious habit to be getting into".

Amen on this one! This kind of thing is amazingly slipping under the carpet. It must change as it is VERY serious.

Marc

EmilyS,

to answer your question in the AG's guidance it reads:

"However, in this case, the “vicious dogs” at issue are those classified as
pit bulls under the third subsection of R.C. 955.11(A)(4)(a). Unlike the situation
in Cowan, the General Assembly has classified pit bulls generally as vicious;
there is no concern about unilateral administrative decision-making on a case-bycase
basis. The clear statutory language alerts all owners of pit bulls that failure
to abide by the laws related to vicious dogs and pit bulls is a crime. Therefore,
the laws do not violate the rights of pit bull owners to procedural due process."

Basically, the generally assembly through Ohio Law has already made that decision that pit bulls are automatically "vicious". That is why passsage of HB 79 is so important.

Marc

EmilyS

Thanks, Marc. I don't understand it, but it sounds like you do, so I bow to your greater wisdom. Totally sucks, though. and totally wrong

IndyElmer

I was concerned when I read this the day it posted, so I contacted the local humane society (which had gotten a number of the dogs). I tried to post the info that they sent in their reply, but I was at work and for some reason, my comment kept getting rejected, so belatedly, here's what HSI had to say about the dogs seized (and now up for adoption WITHOUT any charges being filed):

The Attorney General's operation was enforced under SALES TAX EVASION laws, which are a different process than anti-cruelty code enforcement. On behalf of the Department of Revenue, the attorney general’s office filed a tax jeopardy assessment ALLOWING THEM TO (legally) SEIZE PERSONAL PROPERTY in order to recoup the money. The Attorney General signed the dogs over to and worked with HSUS (a separate organization from HSI) to rescue the dogs.

The Humane Society of Indianapolis offered to help them with our available space and resources. Many of the dogs weren't in the best health and showed signs of neglect. Because of the state's rather lax animal-cruelty laws, we're thankful the Attorney General's enforcement of tax law led to these animals being rescued and treated.

The Attorney General's office may help with more questions about the legal process, http://www.in.gov/attorneygeneral/contact/

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