Alice Harrington, who is co-legislative liaison with me, posted the following on our Facebook page. I thought it was important enough to repeat here.
1-21-16lists — preparing for animal rights fanatics.
Bad weather presents many opportunities for these people to call in with made up complaints about animals that are perfectly fine — and do make sure yours are fine — which may result in animal control officers coming out and citing owners and/or taking dogs and other animals. Many ACOs and other law enforcement do not use reasonable standards for the circumstances created by record-breaking weather events. They enforce the letter of the law — only.
Once these sorts of people are on your property you are toast. There is no going back.
So look at your animals and property as these fanatics might and maybe make some adjustments. Need an example – follow the case of Joshua Rockwood in Glenville, New York. Jon Katz of Bedlam farms has written extensively on his case. Here is one link.
And here’s another example:
Here is another example – “Jessica Swain of Sioux Falls was arrested Sunday for alleged animal neglect, after a witness told authorities Swain had left her husky, Mickey, outside for several hours.”
Alice is so right. Nearly every seizure we have heard about has been when the owner was in a vulnerable state: after a major storm, after a divorce or breakup, during a financial disaster, and even one two weeks after the owner’s son committed suicide.
We know you will take care of your animals during this storm, but be sure everything looks right as well. One horse owner who is having problems with neighbors, makes sure they see her feeding and watering the horses regularly. If your dogs are in outside kennels, make sure the neighbors know the kennels are heated and you check on them more than once a day.
This may be a good time to head off trouble by talking with your neighbors if there is the appearance of a problem at your house. “I wanted to let you know I have a Siberian husky who prefers to be outside, even in the snow! This breed was developed (in Siberia, obviously!) to pull sleds in sub-zero temperatures and he is very uncomfortable in as heated house. We offer him opportunities to come in many times during the day, but he refuses. He has a dog house, of course, and we do make him come in at night. I just wanted you to know that if you see him outside during this weather, it is his own choice and we are keeping an eye on him!”
Remember, most problems with animal control start with a call from a neighbor!