Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Dogs Illegally Seized in SD

In September of last year, a group called Second Chance Dog Rescue, along with HSUS, seized 172 dogs from a breeder in Turner Co, South Dakota. The entire investigation and seizure was riddled with problems - of the U.S. Constitution variety - and a pdf detailing the case can be found here. A judge ruled this week that the seizure was illegal.

At the time of the seizure, HSUS stated it was "collecting evidence" and removing dogs. Now that the raid has been deemed illegal, HSUS appears to be walking back its involvement:
"The request that was made to us was specifically for handling animals and so that is what we come in under was that an actual request for physically handling those animals, and not developing the case," Senior Director of the HSUS Puppy Mills campaign Stephanie Shain said.
Anyone have an HSUS decoder ring to figure out exactly what they are saying here?
Tuesday, the HSUS told KELOLAND News it was simply asked by Second Chance to help with the removal of Christensen's 172 dogs and did not have any involvement in the case, obtaining the warrant or making sure what they were doing that day was legal.
I'm not a lawyer but don't all of us, including HSUS, have an obligation to make sure what we're doing is legal every day? I mean, even if we're just walking down the street, we're supposed to make sure we are complying with the law and especially if we are entering someone else's property and taking their dogs.

If someone is allegedly committing animal cruelty, I am 100% in favor of conducting a legal investigation and, if that investigation yields criminal charges, prosecuting to the full extent of the law. But these kind of shenanigans? Oh hell no. If we allow illegal searches and seizures, what will faux law enforcement animal groups like HSUS do next? I don't want to find out and I'm glad the law is being upheld in this case.


Pibble said...

I would think ESPECIALLY the HSUS would have an obligation, seeing as how that's their mission - to save animals from inhumane situations. And I'm assuming that they were the larger organization of the two, so another obligation for HSUS would have been to guide Second Chance through the process of removing the dogs and collecting evidence in such a way that would guarantee that the offenders would be brought to justice.

But what do I know. I'm just another Sad Sack who is trying to figure out the HSUS and having no success.

Anonymous said...

You're just a tin hat wearing, black helicopter ducking wack-job.

Civil rights are so passé.

EmilyS said...

meanwhile, he doesn't know where his dogs have been since September
Previous incidents like this suggest that they have not been kept well, and some may have died.

YesBiscuit! said...

Pibble - Good point - the HSUS should have lent their vast experience in seizure cases to the more inexperienced rescue. Why they did not remains a mystery to me.

Janeen - I'm annoying like that.

Emily - I hope he gets every single dog back in the same or better condition as when seized. I was surprised at the comment that said something like "the rescue isn't sure what it's going to do next" now that the seizure has been deemed illegal. How about returning the dogs?!