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  #1  
Old 12-18-2005
sue sue is offline
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Default confiscating dogs for lack of rabies?

Is anybody actually confiscating dogs because the owner failed to provide rabies vaccines? If so, what is the wording in the law that allows you to do so?

I am told this is happening is some areas. It seems rather counter productive to put owned dogs in already overburdened shelters for violations that the owner can be cited for on a daily basis.
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  #2  
Old 12-19-2005
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Well Sue, I can tell you that if no owner is home, and I see no proof of rabies or city license, I may use that as a tool to seize the dog. This is useful in only specific cases where owners continually ignore warnings or are avoiding us. I don't abuse the privaledge, to your point of shelter space, but it has come in tremendous use when a good defense attorney is trying to look for illegal procedure to win his case. I can always seize a dog, merely b/c I see no tags and there is no owner present to provide proof, but the choice must be made about whether it's a the right thing for the dog,owner, and our division.

Here's a copy of the code: City of Richmond 10-57(f)(2)

(f) Animals may be impounded in the city animal shelter for reasonable cause as may be determined by the director, including but not limited to any of the following circumstances:
(1) Any dog not kept under restraint as required by this chapter.
(2) Any dog or cat not having affixed to its collar a valid city license tag or rabies vaccination tag.
(3) Any dog or cat for which a valid city license or rabies vaccination certificate has not been issued.
(4) Any animal which constitutes a public nuisance as defined in section 10-1.
(5) Any animal that a person could reasonably suspect as having any infectious or contagious disease other than rabies and being in the custody of a keeper who fails or refuses to make arrangements satisfactory to the animal control officer concerning the proper treatment of such animal.
(6) Every animal that has rabies or symptoms compatible with rabies or that a person could reasonably suspect as having rabies or that bites, scratches or otherwise attacks another animal or person within the city.
(7) Any animal not kept in conformity with this chapter or state law.
( Any animal upon the written request from the owner thereof and to which the animal control officer agrees that such animal be humanely euthanized for the protection of the health and welfare of the public.
(g) Any animal which is the subject of a cause of action filed under this chapter or state law shall be impounded until further order of the courts
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Old 12-19-2005
Gromlich Gromlich is offline
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Default Legal

WOW, its not that easy here. We cant seize and animal unless the threat is there that they may parish within 24hrs. OR if I have given instructions to comply for vet care, shelter, or conditions. If they have failed to comply THEN I can legally sieze the animals. Just for No rabies and City license......I would keep taking them to court on summons. The second go around I would ask that the owner be deemed not resposible pet owner and ask for custody of the animals to be signed over to the city. If they were not home, I would find their info and secure warrants for the no rabies and no city. I have done that before and after NUMEROUS attempts to contact this guy it was the only way to have contact with him, in court.

If an animal is seized from the property we have to file for a Petition of Seizure. Not to exceed ten days from the date the animals were removed. This hearing determines if the owner gets the animals back, they become our property or they are pending until the court date. The owner is held responsible for the fees incured while the animals are in our custody.
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Old 12-19-2005
jimbo jimbo is offline
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So do you take the animal straight to the Veterinarian for it's Rabies?
I must say that seems a little extreme. I suppose you have a shelter full of unvaccinated animals, yet if your citizens have one you take it?

You should not have any animals that are not vaccinatied if they aren't allowed to. Here in Texas you had better have a warrant if you take anyone's property.

We do however have the right to impound a confined animal without a warrant, only if eminent danger is present, which has been defined as your belief that the animal would have died before you could get a warrant and return.

How prevailant is rabies in your State? Is that the catalyst for this overzealous enforcement?
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Old 12-19-2005
aco416iris aco416iris is offline
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We can't seize for no rabies vaccine / city license either. The most we can do is write up an Order to Comply, giving the owners a specified amount of time to do so and then follow up with charges/summonses if it's not done. The only thing we as city officers can seize for here is a) animal is RAL, b) animal is contained on someone else's property, c)animal is left unattended (such as in a car) in extreme heat or cold (with the help of the PD) d)have good reason to believe that the animal's life is in immediate danger and that it will die within 12-24 hrs if not seized.
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Old 12-19-2005
doggz109 doggz109 is offline
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We can seize a dog for no rabies from the owner's property if their dog has never been vaccinated for Rabies and it has bitten someone. If they have proof of a rabies vaccination from any time (current or not), then we can work with them on a home quarantine.
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Old 12-21-2005
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Jimbo, I assume you were addressing my post, so here are some answers to your questions. I don't seize animals due to lack of rabies/city license, although that seems to have been the intent of the city council at some point, when the ordinance was inacted. I do however use that code to address owner's who are non-compliant or ignore our efforts to address their problems. To be honest, I don't think a 'rabies problem' ever had anything to due with the council's decision. My guess would be, maybe someone assisting in the legislature saw an opportunity to use that writing to assist ACO's but submit it as face value when before the council.
Often my seizures are due to many factors that you all have just stated, but a citizen will come to my shelter(unknowingly to face neglect or cruelty charges)b/c it has been explained to them that they need to have their dog vaccinated and licensed.
Also, we do vaccinate everything that walks out of here with rabies by our shelter veterinarian.
Each instance has it own variables, but hopefully this was broad and specific enough to address your questions.
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  #8  
Old 12-22-2005
jimbo jimbo is offline
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Yes sir. I realize that many laws are given life by folks who don't completely uinderstand the really big picture in our industry. It is comforting to know that one understands the spirit of the law, as opposed to the letter of the same. These laws we enforce must remain tools, and means to achieve the desired end effect.

I consider myself a champion of the cause for making our industry improve in the public image department. We have a long way to go. I think that overzealous "bad cop" enforcement can have a place in serious investigations, but I see many organizations over do some stuff. Doing the right thing on a daily basis is the best way to improve our image, but we are in a battle of perception in the eyes of some folks who may never truly understand the implications and scope our of duties.

Good luck in all that you do, And Merry Chistmas to All, Mean it too!!

Ho Ho Ho MERRY CHRISTMAS
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  #9  
Old 12-22-2005
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Merry x-mas to you too jimbo, BTW, is Christmas bigger in Texas too?
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