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We need stronger humane laws! Animal abusers have too many loopholes

By Gary Bogue
Tuesday, July 29th, 2008 at 6:15 am in Abuse, Animal Cruelty, Animal Laws, Animal protection legislation, Animal welfare, dogs, Humane Laws.

This is as bad as it gets:
“Santa Cruz Animal Services officers confiscated 38 dogs and puppies Saturday after finding ‘more dead dogs that we could count’ and dog heads hanging from trees.”

Some crazy guy in Santa Cruz County, Calif., is found to be abusing dogs. Animal control officers discover an unknown number of dead dogs and rotting carcasses and dog feces throughout his house … starving dogs chained with no food or water … body parts everywhere … decapitated dog heads hanging from trees … puppies …

And in spite of all this …
“While animal services officers are doing their best to care for the animals in their control (38 dogs they confiscated), they don’t know if they will be able to save any of the dogs.”

An animal services officer says: “While we are caring for them right now, they are legally his (the guy who killed and abused the dogs) until the DA decides whether or not to prosecute.”

Humane laws in California should be written so that in horrendous situations like this the District Attorney would have no choice in the matter and would HAVE TO PROSECUTE.

“Maybe he (the guy who killed and abused the dogs) will want to surrender some of the animals to us,” said the animal services officer. “Hypothetically we will be able to put them up for adoption.”

Hypothetical baloney! Surviving animals should automatically be confiscated from individuals who cause such abuse.

Anybody else want to jump in and comment on this mess? /Gary

Here’s the whole story by Julie Copeland of the Santa Cruz Sentinel:
http://www.contracostatimes.com/news/ci_10023515

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6 Responses to “We need stronger humane laws! Animal abusers have too many loopholes”

  1. Maggie Says:

    The person is mentally ill – probably a sociopath. Perhaps he’s just practicing on dogs until he’s ready to do the same to people – a serial killer in the making, or maybe he already has hurt people – he needs to be captured and committed to a psychiatric facility and never allowed anywhere near an animal again. Serious police effort should be put into finding him. Clear links have been made between animal torture and serial killers. Perhaps that is the only way to frame it to get the laws changed – if something harms humans then humans are more likely to do something about it. When it comes to animal abuse we only seem to get it done in very small increments of change…

    I can’t take all this bad news about animals! Did you see the 20/20 segment last week on elephants? Another heartbreaker…

  2. Kathy Says:

    I am fairly certain they will not give these poor animals back to that psycho and I am hopeful he will do jail time. I hope that these poor animals are in good enough shape to be adopted as I have room for one more . . . Sad, sad story!!

  3. Home Gardener Says:

    Having asked around about this issue about a Prosecutor’s discretion, I don’t think that there is a way that a DA can be legally forced to prosecute anything. It is always at the prosecutors’s judgement and discretion as whether to prosecute someone for any crime even those as serious as murder.

    The problem appears to be that in our society we have too many crimes being committed and not enough resources to investigate them; and if criminals are caught then not enough resources to prosecute them. In most urban counties in California, prosecutors have more cases than they can handle. In many counties prosecutors triage cases with the lower priority cases not being pursued or at best being plea bargained away. The DA has only so many prosecutors and support staff. They make the call on how they allocate their budget.

    I have spoken to my city’s head of animal control regarding the lack of prosecution for animal abuse. At the time I was asking, the ACO expressed their frustration that the local DA hadn’t taken on a single case presented to them by the investigators from animal control even though the ACOs thought that they had the evidence. The cases were for serious abuse including dog fighting.

    It is a political problem. The process via which counties budget their dollars to various functions including law enforcement is a political process controlled by elected county supervisors. How the DA allocates his office’s resources is a judgement made by the DA, an elected official. In California, local judges are elected. How seriously the judges choose to treat certain crimes in their court is at least partly a political matter.

    We know we can press the judicial system to change priorities through the political process. But we have to be aware that in this era of seemingly permanent government budget crises that pursuing more attention in one type of crime will mean less attention for other types.

    What crimes do we de-emphasize in order to get more of a focus on animal abuse cases? It is a tough problem.

  4. Pat Says:

    Sickening doesn’t even begin to describe my feelings on this….is there someone we can write to Gary? Maybe put a little pressure on to insure that these animals aren’t sent back to this monster, and to also encourage prosecution?

    Pat in Antioch

  5. Laila Says:

    This ‘person’ is a real sicko. What is really unfortunate is that there had been complaints made on him much much earlier and nothing was done. The man should be automatically prosecuted under the fullest extent of the law and he should be put away somewhere for the rest of his life. This is so sickening. Hard to believe it goes on.

  6. Barbara Says:

    Want to keep up with what is taking place in your neighborhood? Shortcut pet-abuse.com to your Favorites search toolbar.

    Currently, the problem regarding possible animal abuse convictions is actually twofold. Mostly, animal abuse cases are classified as misdemeanor; and, because of the limited print space or air-time, the public often remains uninformed of local occurrences. If the public is not aware of an incident, the public has no reason to complain.

    What *might* help to encourage legislators to consider enforcing a reclassification from misdemeanor to felony charges of more animal abuse cases would be by “lobbying” when we learn of specific incidents. And, what *might* help to limit this type of behavior is if abusers learn of the possibility that “the neighborhood” is being watched, therefore, to proceed with caution.

    It’s not an easy website to keep tabs on. (Then, too, neither is Megan’s Law–but, there are instances in which I prefer knowing who lives where.)

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