Let's have a poll: Should it be illegal?

Discussion in 'Dogs - General Dog Chat' started by MoparStar, Feb 23, 2005.

  1. MoparStar

    MoparStar Try not; DO or do not

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    Theorectical question: Jane Doe stole a dog from a person who abused the dog and kept it confined to a short chain, starving. Jane got arrested a year later and the original owner got the dog back. (Now in the bloom of health) Jane faces 5 years in jail. Did she commit a crime? :confused: Let me know what you think!
     
  2. ChiliBeans

    ChiliBeans New Member

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    Wow, this is a deep moral question. She did a good thing, but went about it in the wrong way I suppose.
     
  3. ButtGumbo

    ButtGumbo Ass Lover

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    Yup. She stole the dog. Most breeders of registered dogs have contracts that allow them to regain possesion of the dog if it is proven to be neglected and/or abused. They can only do this through the authorities...they cannot simply "take" the dog.

    That said. I have half-way housed a couple of dogs (one bulldog, one rottie) that were in that exact situation. Was it right, legally? Hell no. But the breeder was a good friend and the dogs had good homes out of state lined up. If I had been caught I would have had to face the consequences.

    If Jane wasn't the breeder, she probably is up poop creek sans paddle. She would have been better off contacting the Humane Society, then legally adopting the dog.

    Good intentions, much like ignorance of the law, do not make a strong excuse in court.
     
  4. Renee750il

    Renee750il Felurian

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    There is a phrase used in criminal defense practice: "in defense of another."
     
  5. ButtGumbo

    ButtGumbo Ass Lover

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    Sadly, I think that phrase only goes for humans.
     
  6. Renee750il

    Renee750il Felurian

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    Actually, it doesn't discriminate. There just aren't any precedents set because no one who gets in those situations has the money to hire an attorney of the caliber to take care of the situation. It's amazing how boxed in our perceptions of "law" can be. I've had the privilege of working with some outrageously intelligent and creative thinking attorneys. It's so much fun to watch them turn things inside out . . .
     
  7. ButtGumbo

    ButtGumbo Ass Lover

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    I've known people that have tried this with horses...they never faced jail time, but still had the theft on their record, despite the "in defense" defense.
     
  8. Renee750il

    Renee750il Felurian

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    If their records were clean otherwise, a good attorney can usually get the record expunged after a probationary period. It's not typically a big deal for something minor (no one got seriously hurt, maimed or died), especially when there is no malicious intent. In my view of the world, an attorney who doesn't at least take a good shot at expungement, especially for something like that, is being downright negligent of his client's best interests.
     
  9. ButtGumbo

    ButtGumbo Ass Lover

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    You're probably right. I'm anti-lawyer right now. My last lawyer experience was the one where he takes my $1500 and fails to show up at my arraignment. (<----traffic related) :cool:
     
  10. Renee750il

    Renee750il Felurian

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    How fast can you say, "Board of Professional Responsibility?" Inexcusable.
     
  11. blue

    blue Jerk.

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    It seems a case of someone defending another that cant defend themselves, no crime done.
     
  12. homelessdog

    homelessdog New Member

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    Yes, it should be illegal to steal another person's dog.

    However, it should also be illegal to mistreat dogs, keep them tethered outside, or not provide adequate food and water.

    People should not have to resort to stealing dogs who are being mistread. We have animal control agencies, and police departments that should be doing their job and removing these dogs when complaints arise. Then the person can go and adopt the neglected dog, not breaking any laws.
     
  13. bonster

    bonster Disappointed :(

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    Interesting question...legally rather than morally... what's more interesting is why someone who didn't care for the dog would suddenly care so much to go through a legal process...

    A kind-of similar thing nearly happened with someone in my family who'd taken a GSD from a resuce centre, which had been found running lose through a town - with no ID - and was clearly very underweight/scared/ill/been 'wild' for some time. Later, at one of the shelter open days they were approached by someone who claimed it had been their dog and shouldn't have been rehomed, but on being politely told to "go away" the matter wasn't pursued.

    How can a dog be "stolen" if it clearly isn't in a "home" environment?

    Another question on the same tack - Renee's "in defense of another" point... if you saw a dog suffering inside a car - dehydrating on a hot day with no air or water... possibly about to die... and no sign of the owner... would you commit a potentially criminal act and break the window?? There has been at least one case in England where the cops were called to deal with this and were too late. I think I would...

    Can you imagine though - you break the window and the dog leaps out and appears fine... there's you by the damaged vehicle, and the owner returns... Who's the wrong-doer?
     
  14. homelessdog

    homelessdog New Member

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    Here I would say that even a lost dog still belongs to someone. If the owner can prove that the dog is theirs, you would obligated to return the dog. I most cities proof of ownership means showing current rabies tags and identification. If they have all that then they could take you to court over ownership.

    Breaking the window would be a last resort to me, and only if the dog becomes unresponsive. First I'd have the store owner page the car owner, then I'd call 911. If the police don't arrive before the dog faints from heat exhaustion, then yeah, I'd be grabbing a fire extenguisher and breaking the window out. It's very dangerous to do that though, so again, it'd be a last resort. I would hope that in a cases like that a Good Samaritan law would protect me from any vandelism charges.
     
  15. bonster

    bonster Disappointed :(

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    Of course - if a dog is tagged or wearing a colllar or something - even if it just looks health and well cared for - it should belong to someone, and checking with a vet (as you would here for a microchip which should pinpoint an owner/address) or police would be the right thing to do firstly - of course. But I'd hope that someone who looks after their dog in terms of ID-ing it, innoculating it etc wouldn't then be the sort of person who'd then leave it cast out or chained... why look after it and do the right things on one hand and abuse it on the other...

    here sadly we have the opposite problem... too many cast out dogs, not many (I've not heard one) stories of anyone fighting for them!
     
  16. Renee750il

    Renee750il Felurian

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    You know, realisitically, the whole thing would hinge on first, how the investigating officers felt about pet abuse and whether or not they'd ever had a pet stolen; second how the ADA felt about pet abuse and whether or not they'd ever had a pet stolen; and third, how the judge felt about pet abuse and whether or not he/she had ever had a pet stolen, AND the mood of the judge on that given day.

    AND, maybe most importantly, who the former owner knew or was related to . . .

    Best advice: don't get caught and have the dog taken far away and have documentation of the abuse just in case you do get caught.
     
  17. becca_4321

    becca_4321 New Member

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    My brother-in-law lived next door to someone mistreating their dog. They kept the poor thing outside all the time tied, no food or water. The entire family was having a fit over how that dog was being treated so John went next door to talk to them, he suggested they either start taking care of the dog or he'd take it from them. Well nothing changed, the owner of the dog left on a trip leaving the dog again with no food or water so my brother-in-law went into the yard and removed the dog. He never hid the fact he took their dog. He kept the dog, allowed it to have playtime in the yard. For a long time someone would always be outside to guard the dog from its actual owner and when they'd see the owner they would just stare each other down, never saying a word. Was it legal, no, but for the dogs sake it was the right thing. John at least gave warning to the owner he would take the dog if they didnt give it proper care.

    Some places it's hard to get help for an animal. A few years ago in our county a horse starved to death. Neighbors and passerbys would call the police, they tried everything to get the horses help. No one would take the case, no one would help. Neighbors would even leave hay for the horses thinking the owner would feed them, no. It wasnt until one horse died that there was a big uproar. All the people who tried to get the horses help threw the biggest fit, it made the front page of the paper. They let everyone know all the people and places they called to try to get help for the horses and all the places who turned their backs on the situation. Should someone had stolen the horses? Taken them somewhere safe? Sad truth is they'd a been in more trouble than the man who let his horse starve to death.
     
  18. Renee750il

    Renee750il Felurian

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    With horses you can get into a whole 'nother bunch of legal questions as well as outrage. Horses are perceived as having a great monetary value, and there are some old "horse thief" laws out there, vestiges from another time that are outmoded, but still law nonetheless.
     
  19. BigDog2191

    BigDog2191 Big German Shepherd

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    She did commit a crime. I personally don't like people like that who barge themselves into peoples lives and take their dogs. I had a good friend who had a neighbor who kept doing that. She would always come up to him and ask him for his dog. She didn't believe he was taking good care of it. She even called animal control on him and animal control said, he was perfectly fine too.

    If she's really concerned about it, she should talk to them. If that doesn't work then call the animal shelter. But taking it, that's just wrong.
     
  20. Renee750il

    Renee750il Felurian

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    Unfortunately, there are a lot of animal controls that won't bother with anything any more controversial than removing carcasses from the roads. There is no one answer; you have to look at these things on an individual basis and examine the situation and available remedies.
     

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