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Old 09-19-2008
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Default Outside your jurisdiction.

Somebody started a rumor years ago that we were a no kill facility, and as a result, everybody in the metroplex wants to unload their pets on us. We have a policy that we do not accept animals from outside our jurisdiction, and people get all wicked on us when we refuse them, but if they just drop the animal in the lobby and walk out the door there is nothing we can do about it because it is not in our ordinance.

We have 10 dog runs and 10 cat cages, so taking in animal from other jurisdictions it totally out of the question (the Humane Society in Ft. Worth takes in nearly 50,000 animals every year), and I need to have something enforceable when we refuse these people. Does anybody have a sample ordinance that restricts the animals coming into their shelters as only being animals from their city?
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Old 09-19-2008
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I don't remember for sure, but I think we cited people under the "abandonment" section of state code. If you've told people that you can't accept the animal for whatever reason, and they yell "well, f.u.!", drop the leash, and run out of the shelter, they've just abandoned their animal (with handy witnesses, too!) exactly the same as if they'd done it in the parking lot, or down the street, or at the neighboring grocery store. I'm sure y'all must have that in state of Texas law somewhere ...
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Old 09-19-2008
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The state law says;

"Abandon" includes abandoning an animal in the person's custody without making reasonable arrangements for assumption of custody by another person.

There ain’t no way you would ever get a conviction for a person abandoning an animal in the person's custody without making reasonable arrangements for assumption of custody by another person when they drop it off at an animal shelter.

The city code has this;

Abandoning animals prohibited. No owner of an animal shall abandon such animal.

Again, the pre conceived notion of “abandonment” is to leave it somewhere without sustenance, so even in municipal court I doubt it would fly.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Getting too old View Post
"Abandon" includes abandoning an animal in the person's custody without making reasonable arrangements for assumption of custody by another person.
I dunno, GTO, you know your own courts best. But if I were a lawyer (God forbid!), I'd have something to say about the section I underlined there. It says "making reasonable arrangements," not "screaming f.u. and walking out the door." I guess the judge in your jurisdiction should really be the one to give you a definition of what a "reasonable arrangement for custody" is, in the situation you describe, and probably has already. Maybe, if a homeless person is begging and pleading with you to hold the animal, they don't have anywhere to go with it, that they'll try and find transport to its own jurisdiction later, I could see that being considered to be at least attempting to "make a reasonable arrangement," if not actually reaching one. But the person just walking in, announcing that the animal's now your problem, and leaving -- that's not "reasonable," even here in the magical land of the loons.
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Old 09-19-2008
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The law used to say “Unreasonably abandon”, and one local city had a case where a boyfriend stole the girlfriend’s cat and dumped it in an apartment complex. There were witnesses who got the LP and collected the cat before it got hurt, but the DA refused the case. The reason being that since there were people around, and the cat was never in any danger of starving to death, then it was not “unreasonably” abandoned.

On a side note though, like everybody else we have problems with people dumping animals here after hours. We are not open on Sunday, and our hours are plainly posted on the front door, but some fool dumped two small dogs in a wire cage in front of the building on a Sunday. It was 35 degrees and raining, and when the dogs were accidentally discovered at 10:00 that night, one had died from exposure.

We have people all the time going behind the shelter and dumping animals where nobody can see them, and if I happen to be on vacation, they could sit there for over a week before they would be found. My plan there is to install security cameras around the building and catch some of these folks. If I could get these idiots on video, then it will be an easy prosecution.
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Ah, yes, video. Cause, God knows, notices are pointless, and appealing to people's finer instincts is a waste of time. Come back tomorrow, folks, for another inspiring episode of "How Much People Suck."
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Old 09-19-2008
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We have used the abandon before. The other thing we do is to call the jurisdiction where the animal belongs, tell them to come pick it up, or we deliver it and give them all the info on the person who dropped it off and let them go after them for fees etc. This works great as they get a lecture about abandoning animals from their own jurisdiction and also get a bill for fees. We have this problem as we only accept animals from unincorporated county and people get really p.o.'d at us.
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Old 09-19-2008
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We've tried that "abandonment" angle too. The DA won't file it though as the animal wasn't "abandoned" where it wouldn't receive care. (I guess they think it has to be abandoned in the middle of the deep, dark woods to be worth filing a case).
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Which is why I don't get why a court wouldn't go for that ... I mean, for example, GTO's exposure-death case, yes, was left at a shelter, but in no way shape or form was that an "appropriate" custody transfer. So the people's behaviour fits neither the letter of the law (no "reasonable arrangement") nor the spirit of the law. Which leads us to the question, "what the heck is the State of Texas paying that judge for?"

My, I'm being irascible today. Time to go get myself a long cold drink ...
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Caninelaw View Post
We've tried that "abandonment" angle too. The DA won't file it though as the animal wasn't "abandoned" where it wouldn't receive care. (I guess they think it has to be abandoned in the middle of the deep, dark woods to be worth filing a case).
That is the point, it is only a crime if there are no witnesses, but if there are no witnesses, you have no case. The dumped dog that died from exposure would be a simple case to prosecute, one year in jail and/or a $4000 fine, but we don’t know who done it. That is why we are looking at security cameras.

The original scenario of “I found this dog in Fort Worth, but I’m not going to take it to their shelter because they will kill it”, then they just leave it and walk out, I don’t think we could ever successfully file abandonment on them.
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