I have a discussion question. How many dogs and cats are injured or dead after being placed in harms way using intimidation and deceit? I would say ‘found’ injured or dead but in many cases we may never know the outcome. I’ve reported on two cases this past week alone involving those who should help animals being deterred due to fear or lies. Or just plain not caring…
Joy returned after threats to charge those helping her with ‘theft’
The most recent case is Joy (AKA Baby Yoda) who was being treated by a Cabarrus County, North Carolina veterinarian. Joy is no longer under veterinary care after a woman claiming to be Joy’s owner managed to get the cat in her possession.
The Humane Society of Rowan County has taken a lot of flack over this when they actually had nothing to do with the cat being returned. The fault lies somewhere between Cabarrus County Animal Control and the Cabarrus Animal Hospital. According to Animal Control,
Tuesday morning, Dec. 31, we were informed by Cabarrus County Animal Control Sergeant that the lady had been advised by him that she should take out a warrant against The HSRC for theft of her animal, and that if she did so, the organization would be charged with a felony. (I later was informed by the Cabarrus County District Attorney’s office that only the officer could have us charged with a felony.)
Contact was made with the sergeant who said he had been contacted by the veterinarian who declared Joy to be the property of the lady who had been trying to claim her. He said the veterinarian was “tired of the publicity” and wanted Joy out of his hospital. The sergeant said he returned Joy to the lady.
So now Joy is out there-somewhere-leaving us all to wonder about her condition since she was being treated for both an injury as well as an infection.
Did anyone bother to compare photos of the missing cat against those taken of Joy? Joy has a distinctive mark to the right of her nose as well as a white patch of hair running vertically up her inner left eye. Was the veterinary clinic tired of Joy or were they intimidated and threatened with legal action for having her? We may never know…
Veterinarian treating underweight dog returned it to owner because he says he was led to believe it was ‘stolen’
The other case I reported on involved a dog who was taken by a concerned citizen in Chatham County, Georgia and being treated by Savannah Animal Care. Chatham County Animal Control got involved and allegedly informed the clinic the dog had been stolen by the person bringing the dog in and ordered the clinic to return the dog to the owner.
Word going around is the veterinarian didn’t want to return the dog but was ordered to by Animal Control. The dog supposedly has a condition that prevents it from gaining weight. It had last seen a vet in September when diagnosed heartworm positive and treatment was refused. The dog also needed seizure medication. If a dog is that sick it has no business being tethered outside (which is also illegal in Chatham County)!
Intimidation, threats and lies are harming animals and we need to learn how laws work
To all of the veterinarians, animal shelters and Good Samaritans out there, you need to learn how animal ownership laws work. If someone claims to be the owner of a dog or cat says they’re going to take out a warrant against you for theft, keep in mind the burden of proof is going to be on THEM and not YOU.
This is yet another reason to have your pet microchipped. It’s a great form of proof an animal is yours and could save you and your pet from being tied up for months in a court case. I’ve had a few friends avoid frivolous charges by challenging Animal Control or the police. They did this by asking for proof and knew the law well enough to quote that what was being done was illegal.
There are actually public servants who believe whatever anyone tells them by whoever wants the animal and they’re endangering pets just to avoid conflict. There are a lot of community animal control units who claim to investigate abuse, only to leave the animal with the abuser. Sometimes, they do return to investigate when the animal is reported dead and still do nothing!
Meanwhile, Joy may be in danger (since she’s sick AND injured). Then again, she may not be. That poor dog in Chatham County, Georgia may be in danger and it may not. Take it from me-it’s HELL not knowing.
If anyone has further information they can add as to how animal seizure laws work, please feel free to post in the comment section below.