Sunday, May 17, 2009

Animal Control Abuse

We have been a little distracted the past 3 weeks, after reading a news story about something that happened to a pet owner whose life has been devastated by what appears to be Animal Control abuse. We are not going to tell you who or where, just that it happened in Georgia.

A woman returned from work one day and all her animals were gone. According to one newspaper report, a census worker called animal control because "grass was high around the house" and there were animals outside. So this census worker walked around the house peering in windows. (She was seen by a neighbor doing this.) No one ever contacted the homeowner about there being any questions or "problem." There was no emergency and no reason to suspect a dead body -- human or animal -- in the house. No reason to enter the house or search it.

But a few days later, animal control went to the house, called the sheriff's office for backup, and went through the house with the deputy, at least one other person from animal control, the county manager, and 2 (TWO) newspaper reporters, each with a camera. We can't help but wonder why animal control called in so many outsiders and took an entourage inside with him. Well, there is the publicity factor. And could there possibly be a self-protection factor because he was overstepping his authority?

Nothing has been mentioned of a search warrant. They searched the house, took photos inside the house, seized all the animals for reasons unclear but supposedly because the house smelled bad and was messy. Now, a messy house is not the same as a filthy, overcrowded one ankle-deep in feces. They took 9 or 10 dogs and 3 (?) cats. They quickly put down an outdoor dog that needed an insulin shot twice a day and a cat with a minor age-related problem that the vet said was still healthy.

All animals were up to date on their shots and well-fed. There was no abuse, no hoarding or running an unlicensed rescue, as AC claimed in the article. The owner was single, working double shifts, exhausted and her home/yard had gotten a bit messy. She was threatened with losing her job and was "bullied" into signing over her animals. (Sign them over now or I'll file charges and take you to court.) We can only imagine how embarrassed and frightened she was.

As far as we know, two of her dogs were adopted out, but knowing the reputation of that shelter, we imagine the rest of the animals have already been put down. We don't know all the facts because we haven't spoken to the party personally, but Jan has spoken to someone who knows the woman involved. The thought of a bunch of strangers ever invading our home and carting us off to prison to be executed like animal criminals is frightening. And for Jan, the thought of ever coming home to find us gone and to learn a bunch of strangers were traipsing through taking photographs is terrifying.

Don't think it can't happen to you or someone you know. Humans are not like us. They don't just want to be the alpha of the household, they want to be alpha of the office, city, county, state .... A little authority can easily short-circuit the common sense part of the human brain.

We are glad humans are passing laws to help protect us. But what kind of protection is it when those in authority go after the responsible pet owners (the animals were vetted, well-fed and the one dog was receiving twice daily injections for diabetes) instead of the abusive ones? Were those cats and dogs really being protected when they were snatched from their home and executed for no reason except the grass was tall and the house was messy? Every human gets a bit overwhelmed at one time or another.

So today we're going to honor and mourn all woofies and kitties that have been executed after being snatched away from their homes by overzealous, lacking common sense, power-hungry animal control officers, who need a heavy dose of their own abuse.

For those of you who missed our earlier post on Animal Owner Abuse, we are re-posting the 2 videos.

John Stossel's ABC News Documentary 20/20.

"Cruelty to Owners," Part 1

"Cruelty to Owners," Part 2


  1. This is just terrible! I thought there were laws that you couldn't just enter a house. Why would an animal be put down just because it needed a shot each, the doggie of our house here lived three long happy years getting two shots a day for insulin. I don't get it.
    I almost have stopped trying to figure these things out. There is no reason.

  2. We are very sad after reading this. Sometimes our grass gets a little long especially when Daddy is out of town or the lawn mowers are broke. And sometimes our house is messy, the beans tend to leave books and shoes scattered around. But that doesn't mean we are not loved and taken care of. Mommy is crying at the thought of someone stealing us and killing us. We are so sad for the poor lady and her dogs and cats. ~S,S,C & F

  3. We are too sad to even khomment....


  4. Considering how awful my house always looks, what a frightening thing!

  5. Omigosh! That is such a heartbreaking story...our hearts go out to the lady and her beloved pets. Mom gets it too when she doesn't have enough time to play with me and stuff...the authorities just went overboard,she thinks.


  6. How sad. That woman must've been devastated upon finding all her furbabies gone. Thanks for posting this. It's very sad.

  7. This is why The Big Thing NEVER EVER adopts kitties from shelters. Cause he wants ta keep a low profile from these fanatics.

    We appreciate their goals, but we won't tolerate their fanaticism.

  8. Well we iz in BTK Cuntry... Fank God him iz in jail now...

    Him didn't just hurt peeple. Him worked as an animal control officer and would steal animals just to be cruel to dem and poot dem to sleep. him iz furry badz.

    Pleeze stops by... I iz tattlin on Daisy cuz sume folks fink dat our Mommy is cruel... nope hur just got duped and now has ta be da parent and be responsible fur Daisy...

    Katie Too

  9. Well this is not suprising. Just another abuse of authority case. Reminds me of the Child Protection Agencys that prosecute parents for diciplining their childen or take them without probable cause. Seems these "welfare agencies" have more power than the criminal justice system....and are in fact, oftentimes, operating outside of it. That is why it is so important for people to know your rights!

  10. That is awful. I would be devastated if I came home to find my boys gone. There should be laws to stop this happening.

  11. For Animal Control, it's such a fine line between helping animals and hurting animals. Sometimes, when I watch "Animal Cops: Houston" on Animal Planet, I wonder if there are cases such as this where an owner may have just been having a hard time, but is keeping up with the daily routine of handling her animals. It's sad to me that there was no formal discussion with the owner, no investigation into allegations, no opportunity for this owner to defend herself, and that a hunch was taken as fact.

  12. How utterly asinine. Nothing like zealots to ruin a good concept.

  13. My eyes are leaky. This is beyond bad. xxx

  14. WOW. This is SO SAD Jan. I hadnt heard about this yet. I am in shock. I CANNOT BELIEVE THEY BROUGHT REPORTERS. That is absolutely unjust and flat out ridiculous. That poor woman. And that pooor dog that was put down. This breaks my heart twice over.:(


  15. I don't get it. I just don't get it.

  16. What a tragic story! Is Georgia a police state?

  17. Ok if a messy house warrants this kind of treatment, then someone need to send people over to OUR house cos it is messy.. the laundry is waiting to be ironed/ folded, the floor is coated with fur (not me, it's Hershey cos she is blowing her coat), our plants are barely making it... BUT, we get fed twice a day with home cooked food, we have access to fresh water all the time, we have a huge basket of toys, we get walkies once or twice a day, so is this cruelty?!!
    Sigh.. sometimes some humans just don't use their brains when they should. For all you know, those animals that you mentioned could be leading very happy and well cared for lives with their owner!! **sigh**.. sorry for grumbling...

  18. OHhh, this is terrible! This is what we calls invasion of privacy! Don't you need permission to go into someone's home and take and kill their pets?


    The Dog WOods Pack

  19. Mama is mad, sad, disgusted but especially sad. She really is at a loss for words right now.

    Love -

    Hershey and Kaci

  20. That is just horrible. We can't imagine being snatched away from home like that.


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