Overview -Civil Seizure-the laws


Civil seizure laws

An interesting trend in animal welfare* is passing a bond law or civil seizure powers. These laws have a few forms and the more recent proposals are unconstitutional yet, getting approval anyway.

Here is how they work. If a law enforcement agency is responding to a complaint about animal care it may decide to impound animals in order to determine if the animals are suffering from neglect or cruelty. Impounding the animals allows the agency to have it’s vet examine the animals for signs and symptoms of disease that can be directly attributed to lack of or improper care. Then the agency can charge the caretakers or owners with a violation. The bond law, or civil seizure action, allows the agency to require the owner to pay for this.

At first you say, well, if someone mistreats innocent animals, he should have to pay for their care. Of course. But these are people who have NOT been charged with any wrongdoing and are not convicted of any crime. In fact, the civil seizure laws are specifically used in cases in which a crime is not charged at all. In criminal cases (most states now have criminal charges for failing to feed an animal that involve jail time) this action gets complicated.

Since animal cruelty was more commonly treated as a civil matter, search warrants were easy to get and appeals were also easy for owners to request. However, now that the same act is considered criminal, everything should have changed. Only it hasn’t. Civil investigations handled by civilian animal control code enforcement officers or even contracted humane agents were considered “lesser” offenses and could be handled by traffic court judges. But without consideration bumping animal cruelty up to a crime (which is a good thing) did not include training investigators or requiring trained police officers to oversee the case. This is bad. Because without reading defendants their rights, without powers of arrest, and without financial backing that other crimes receive, these cases are not being investigated or adjudicated properly.

Does this mean criminals walk? No. It means that people who are not afforded their basic rights go to jail on flimsy evidence and improper prosecution. Animal cruelty cases get a great deal of press. By the time the story is out, the accused is rarely able to exonerate herself, even when she’s done nothing wrong. To compound this, the bond law, requires her to pay for the investigation OR lose all rights to the animals/evidence in her case. You can’t win unless you pay. This is not American. Innocent until proven guilty is not applied in these cases.

So while it sounds great to be able to pay for large scale hoarding cases without using taxpayer moneys, the answer is not to throw out the Bill of Rights and give away due process of law. As much as anyone, a former cruelty investigator like me, wants proper punishments for criminal behavior, especially for those who harm innocent victims. But any law enforcement officer also champions the rights of the innocent. If we asked people accused of crimes to pay for the police to investigate them we would be seen as fools. But we are actually asking them to pay or lose their family members. That’s crazy and unconstitutional. A version of this law exists in MD and VA and one is proposed in PA right now.

*it has been argued that this is actually an animal rights agenda item used to eliminate the ability of average folks to keep animals. But it has plenty of animal welfare support from those who are uninformed of it’s legal ramifications.

**Diana Culp, Experienced animal control officer, shelter supervisor and former veterinary assistant, Diana Culp, has a master’s degree in behavior. She teaches at the East Coast Animal Control Training Academy, is an adjunct in Duquesne University’s Humane Leadership Bachelor’s program, and former Director of Education for the Humane Society of the United States. On a mini farm in Maryland, she rehabilitates rabies vector wildlife through a permit from the Department of Natural Resources and cares for retired cow ponies. You can also find her at pethelp.net and Get a Better Dog on Facebook.


Well well well…[note-FORMER Director of Education, HSUS] The cruelty laws were/are written by Animal Rights Extremists without so much as to question on the overwhelming results of what happens to those falsely accused and whether the letter of the law was enforced properly or even how difficult it would be for retribution when they brush off an animal owner, innocent of the charge, rather than protect the innocent, and keep the animals. -They go beyond what anyone would believe was appropriate and their only claim is of  their ‘immunity’ which they do not have, as if breaking the law protects law enforcement officers when they victimize innocent people of any crime, when it most certainly does NOT!!!

I believe the crime of improper due process worse than the charge of cruelty  especially if there was no cruelty inflicted on the animals, anyone most certainly would know they were breaking the law and so obvious they should have…And who the Hell invites and brings the press onto private property for a search and seize, at the protest of the land owner, and not know they were breaking the law?!? Who in their right mind believes that the press aren’t breaking the law (including the press) with their trespass onto private property without going and directly asking the land owner if its OK?!?

The worst of it is, the great lengths that VICTIMS of this type of law enforcement have to go to get justice from wrongful enforcement and their right is/was their right all along for proper  due process, protection from such abuse of the law, and proper hearings from the start; including the right court and with a trial by jury. -Such abuse is totally unacceptable…and no excuse for it!!!

Any quick review of these cases as to what went on was/is an extreme abuse of civil liberties and the fools (enforcement), rather than making an HONEST attempt to settle it properly out of court, with a legitimate offer for retribution; it will go to court and they risk being charged with a crime themselves with the FBI now getting involved investigating these cases of sever civil liberty abuse, so everyone’s life now destroyed-live and learn I suppose!!!

I often wonder if it was really worth the risk, especially when victims of violations of due process are prepared to go all the way to trial, even if pro se, to see that justice is properly served…What’s the point of any of it especially when it happened at taxpayer expense and the only benefit was for some not for profit organization (that they often protect-seriously!!!) that claimed ‘rescue’ and ‘touching the souls of animals’ (yeah, they make the claim even after they killed the animals; I’m NOT joking!!!) and served no purpose what so ever. It is a clear case of civil liberty abuse that is rather easy to prove…ALL done at taxpayer expense-What BULLSHIT!!!

Obviously, not just victims of improper due process speaking out about the ‘real crime’ of improper enforcement and due process; leaving communities without justice as one of their own victimized and others who knew/know exactly what goes on in these cases and has continually gone on; there is no sudden surge of animal cruelty in this country with real cases of felony abuse going by with no one being charged. This includes the intentional killing of innocent animals that were seized and then killed without permission of the court or the owner and no scientific proof long before any hearing, was/is indeed, intentional animal abuse and must be stopped.

The perpetrators of such crimes; especially when done by a so called professional who should have been going to great lengths to protect the animals, calling themselves experts and ‘rescuers’ while they made it their first ‘order of business’ to kill the animals. This most certainly was/is premeditated from before the animals were even seized…the murders of animals are living among us openly and un-apologetically and without making retribution for their crime for what what they did and what happened. -What BULLSHIT!!!

animal seizures and rescues are being conducted by a very sophisticated

network of  organized crime who have developed a

very sophisticated scheme by which they are 

criminalizing longstanding animal and livestock owners; divesting them of

ownership of entire herds of livestock and commercially valuable animals.

all of it done at taxpayer expense and thru a highly developed scheme to

collect donations.

follow the animals ~ follow the money!!! 

Disclaimer connected to this blog…Things said are of my opinion and the opinion of others…Stay tuned  -B

~ by topcatsroar on May 2, 2013.

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