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WWYD? - pets and police

A friend of mine was telling me about his friend, M. In late December, there was raid by the sheriff's department at M neighbor's home (nothing to do with M whatsoever) but they gained access to the sides/ yard of the neighbor's house by 1) cutting the lock on M's gate and 2) opening, and leaving open, M's gate, which is leads to the driveway and yard. This is caught on surveillance video from M's house. Following the lock cutting and gate opening, M's dog is on seen on tape walking right outside the yard and wandering off. I watched the video myself, and this is exactly what happened.

M's dog is GONE and he and his family is devastated. M had NO idea that the sheriff was coming and had nothing to do with the raid. M was in the wrong, for sure, for having the dog outside unattended, but it is also unclear if they were home at the time with the door open, or if the dog was outside while they were gone. 

M called the sheriff, who, especially when confronted with the video, fully admitted that they let the dog out and they are responsible for it. So they asked M "how much he wants" for his dog. M was flabbergasted and said this is is PET who was 8 years old and he has raised this whole time. Sheriff said, "Oh well, we can give you a check for $500, but that's our limit." M is super upset and doesn't know what to do.

What would YOU do?? 

[IMG]http://i40.tinypic.com/ab19id.jpg[/IMG]

Re: WWYD? - pets and police

  • I am so sorry for your friend.  :(  The only thing I can think of is to seek legal counsel to find out what, if any, options he has at restitution. 

    image. "Wanna go for a run, Momma?"
  • Wow that is horrible. You would have thought they could have called/knocked on the door or used a piece of rope to tie the dog up. Possibly a lawyer could help them? I mean that was trespassing as they probably only had a warrent for the neighbor's house.
  • GBCKGBCK member
    Ancient Membership Combo Breaker

    honestly, I'd ask the police what they're willing to do to help FIND the dog--not $, time, effort, legwork.

    And then I'd go to the press. 

  • I would consult with a lawyer. Sorry for your friend :(
    image
  • Two points - one is that going to court, hiring a lawyer, etc. won't do your friend any good as long as the dog is legally considered "property." Unless things have changed, the owner can sue for the value of the dog and maybe the lock, nothing more. Punitive damages don't apply with pets. (I used to watch Animal Court all the time in college.) The other point is, although he's probably kicking himself, your friend really isn't at fault for having the dog outdoors. I mean, in terms of the police's responsibility...it's totally legal to have a dog contained outside on your own property, and the cops were trespassing.

    I think your friend should make a stink and send his video to the local news stations. They eat this stuff up. They'll probably interview him, then interview the sherriff's office and embarrass the heck out of them. And maybe someone who watches will recognize the dog and get him home, which would be the best scenario of all.

  • image Mrs.Hizzo:

    Two points - one is that going to court, hiring a lawyer, etc. won't do your friend any good as long as the dog is legally considered "property." Unless things have changed, the owner can sue for the value of the dog and maybe the lock, nothing more. Punitive damages don't apply with pets. (I used to watch Animal Court all the time in college.) The other point is, although he's probably kicking himself, your friend really isn't at fault for having the dog outdoors. I mean, in terms of the police's responsibility...it's totally legal to have a dog contained outside on your own property, and the cops were trespassing.

    I think your friend should make a stink and send his video to the local news stations. They eat this stuff up. They'll probably interview him, then interview the sherriff's office and embarrass the heck out of them. And maybe someone who watches will recognize the dog and get him home, which would be the best scenario of all.

    This. Yes

    Really - the police can't replace the dog or magically make the dog return. However - an apology would have been nice. 

  • That's horrible. How long has the dog been missing? I hope they're able to find him.
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  • image Mrs.Hizzo:

    I think your friend should make a stink and send his video to the local news stations. They eat this stuff up. They'll probably interview him, then interview the sherriff's office and embarrass the heck out of them. And maybe someone who watches will recognize the dog and get him home, which would be the best scenario of all.

    What a horrible situation!!  I agree with PP, take this to the media and maybe they can help find the dog.  If nothing else it will shame the police department for being so careless and neglectful.  

    image
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    The Baloney Bug, A Blog
  • image Mrs.Hizzo:

    Two points - one is that going to court, hiring a lawyer, etc. won't do your friend any good as long as the dog is legally considered "property." Unless things have changed, the owner can sue for the value of the dog and maybe the lock, nothing more. Punitive damages don't apply with pets. (I used to watch Animal Court all the time in college.) The other point is, although he's probably kicking himself, your friend really isn't at fault for having the dog outdoors. I mean, in terms of the police's responsibility...it's totally legal to have a dog contained outside on your own property, and the cops were trespassing.

    I think your friend should make a stink and send his video to the local news stations. They eat this stuff up. They'll probably interview him, then interview the sherriff's office and embarrass the heck out of them. And maybe someone who watches will recognize the dog and get him home, which would be the best scenario of all.

    I agree with all of this.  

    Sneak attack!


    [IMG]http://i52.tinypic.com/2ypgio2.jpg[/IMG]
  • image Mryan209:
    image Mrs.Hizzo:

    Two points - one is that going to court, hiring a lawyer, etc. won't do your friend any good as long as the dog is legally considered "property." Unless things have changed, the owner can sue for the value of the dog and maybe the lock, nothing more. Punitive damages don't apply with pets. (I used to watch Animal Court all the time in college.) The other point is, although he's probably kicking himself, your friend really isn't at fault for having the dog outdoors. I mean, in terms of the police's responsibility...it's totally legal to have a dog contained outside on your own property, and the cops were trespassing.

    I think your friend should make a stink and send his video to the local news stations. They eat this stuff up. They'll probably interview him, then interview the sherriff's office and embarrass the heck out of them. And maybe someone who watches will recognize the dog and get him home, which would be the best scenario of all.

    I agree with all of this.  

    Ditto this.

    I've heard of a handful of instances in which family pets are (wrongfully) shot and killed by police, and there are no repercussions (no suspension, no firing, not even re-training), and no "compensation" for the family. 

  • I work in law enforcement so I'm always hyper vigilant about this type of stuff and kind of paranoid.  We regularly do no knock warrants and if your dog goes after an officer who is in your house, yes, they can shoot it.  They can't knock on your door and notify you they're raiding a neighbors house when the point is to surprise the person so they don't shoot you, blow up the house or destroy drugs.  Yes, it sucks that they let the dog out but I'm also pretty sure they were more worried about their own safety and the safety of everyone around them.  It's not like they no knock raid people for traffic tickets.  This is part of why my dogs aren't left unattended and why you need to buckle your dogs in or confine them in the car, in case youre stopped and have to leave your vehicle you don't want them running all over creation.  It is a shitty situation and I understand why he's upset but he is as much in the wrong as they were.  They're trying to do their job and its not exactly the safest easiest job in the world.

    I can't offer legal advice, but financial compensation is generally limited for pets.  I doubt he'll get anything other than what's being offered.  I would ask for their assistance in finding the dog and a formal apology.

    image "...Saving just one pet won't change the world...but, surely, the world will change for that one pet..."
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