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Alert:When Travelling with your dogs.....

Discussion in 'Laws & Legislation' started by Bulldogluvr, Nov 22, 2009.

  1. Fwd'd from American Dog Owners Assoc. newsletter.

    Sheriff stands by his men at what cost?
    By Robert McCartney
    Thursday, November 19, 2009
    Since the day his officers gunned down two pet Labrador dogs and handcuffed two innocent people for hours in a drug raid in 2008 at the home of the mayor of Berwyn Heights, Prince George's County Sheriff Michael Jackson has clung to what seems like a preposterous notion that his men did nothing wrong.
    Voters will now get a chance to pass judgment on that, as Jackson confirmed to political associates last week that he's running for county executive.
    Don't be surprised, though, if Jackson suffers only modest political damage from the dog-shooting incident. In a crowded Democratic primary in September, he'll be targeting voters who welcome a tough law-and-order candidate. Some are police or other public safety officers who know from experience that executing search warrants is a messy, risky business.
    Jackson, who is black, also might benefit from racial sympathies of African Americans who think the Berwyn Heights raid got undue attention because a white family was affected, according to veteran county politicians of both races. He has never counted on support from liberal, largely white communities that have displayed the most outrage over the dogs.
    Regardless of how it plays politically, the case remains interesting because Jackson might actually believe his officers behaved properly -- in the sense that they acted as they typically do. That is plausible and scary.
    It's plausible because there have been other incidents that raised questions about Jackson's officers. In September a jury awarded $261,000 to a Greenbelt woman who said she was pepper-sprayed and punched by sheriff's deputies after they forced their way into her apartment to serve an arrest warrant on a man who wasn't there. A couple in Accokeek has accused the sheriff's office of killing their dog in 2007 after going to their home in error while seeking to serve a warrant on an address up the street.
    Mayor Cheye Calvo and his family have filed a lawsuit alleging behavior pointing to a "rogue, paramilitary culture" within the sheriff's department. They hope the U.S. Department of Justice civil rights division will mount a "pattern and practice" investigation in the federal inquiry that's been opened.
    Jackson's position is scary because it would imply that his officers are routinely overstepping what I think most people would regard as reasonable constraints on how law officers conduct themselves. In the Berwyn Heights case, there's considerable evidence that the officers did insufficient research, burst into the house without an appropriate warrant and shot the dogs immediately even though Calvo's mother-in-law, Georgia Porter, who was there, said the animals posed no threat.
    The sheriff's officers raided the house July 29, 2008, after learning that a box of marijuana was being shipped to Calvo's wife, Trinity Tomsic. Calvo, Tomsic and Porter were cleared of any wrongdoing after the county determined they were victims of a drug-smuggling scheme in which drug-filled packages addressed to unsuspecting recipients were intercepted by a FedEx deliveryman.
    The county police department, which helped plan the botched incursion but is separate from the sheriff's office, finally acknowledged last month that one of its officers committed an unspecified "procedural violation" and has been disciplined. Jackson, however, has acknowledged nothing.
    Referring to an internal sheriff's investigation that found no wrongdoing, Jackson said in June that the findings "are consistent with what I've felt all along: My deputies did their jobs to the fullest extent of their abilities." He has not responded to numerous requests to comment for this column.
    Calvo said of Jackson: "It'd be one thing as an elected official to say, 'We made some mistakes; we're going to see about fixing them.' His reaction, to not really consider that it was possible that anything wrong was done, is really frightening."
    Calvo and Porter were bound during the raid, and Porter was forced to lie on the floor near one of the dogs' bodies until the officers figured out there had been a mistake.
    In another twist in the case, the county is trying to block the discovery process in Calvo's lawsuit. That's frustrating, because the lawsuit could clear up some mysteries.
    In particular, it could uncover why nobody did a routine check before the raid to find out who lived at the address, which could have determined the mayor lived there. It could reveal why the sheriff's office didn't get a no-knock warrant, as Calvo says state law requires.
    It could also show whether it's typical practice for SWAT teams to shoot dogs immediately on entering a target house, regardless of how the animals behave. That wouldn't be a huge surprise, considering that many drug dealers have dogs, often pit bulls, as guard animals.
    The county's position in the suit is that nobody should be deposed and no records made available while the federal inquiry is underway. Otherwise, the county says, it could violate the sheriff's officers' Fifth Amendment rights against self-incrimination.
    But that begs a question: If Jackson's men didn't do anything wrong, as he insists, then why would they take the Fifth?
    I discuss local issues at 8:51 a.m. Friday on WAMU (88.5 FM). E-mail me at
    Robert McCartney: Prince George's, Md., sheriff takes scary position on misguided raid -


    Everyone needs to know that a dog club member was stopped by police near

    Birmingham, AL on the way to the Magnolia Classic Trial. The actual law
    enforcement officer was a sheriff's captain for Jefferson County. They held
    her for 45 minutes on the side of the road with 6 patrol cars flashing red
    lights. She was treated like a criminal. She and her daughter were both
    frightened by the way they were treated. The policeman asked her if she
    why she was stopped and she told them, "No I don't". He said, "I stopped
    because I saw you had dogs in your truck". Her dogs were in secured kennels
    elevated by a table in the back of her truck to be near the topper windows.
    Equipment was then stored under the table.

    They said she didn't have water in the dog crates. She explained she had
    just stopped at a rest stop, let all the dogs go to the bath room, offered
    them water and they didn't do well with water in the cups while the truck
    moved. Then she poured water in the cups and none of the dogs drank. He
    said that the back of the truck was not air-conditioned. She pointed out
    that the temps were 58 at the time. Then he said she had inadequate
    ventilation. She told hi m the dog's hair was moving as they traveled and
    there was plenty of ventilation.

    He wanted to know where she was taking the dogs and why they were in her
    truck. She told him she was headed to a dog show. He asked where the show
    was taking place. She stammered and he was sure she was lying. He asked for
    documentation to prove she was attending a dog show and proof that she was
    entered as a contestant. She didn't have a flyer so she told him to go the
    JRTCA web site and the trial would be listed. He called his main office and
    had someone go on line to view the site. He told her if she was going to a
    dog show why didn't' she have entry forms with her. She told him that she
    was going to enter when she arrived.

    He looked in the van and asked about the research foundation equipment. She
    told him what it was and he stated it looked like drug paraphernalia to
    She showed him paper work for the DNA study to prove the equipment was for
    legitimate purposes.

    He told her he wasn't convinced that it was a proper way to carry her dogs
    and he was going to call animal control to come and investigate. When he
    called them they said they couldn't come for an hour and a half so he took
    photos of her truck and dogs to show to animal control so animal control
    could decide if her set up is acceptable or not. They informed her they had
    all her information and knew how to contact her if animal control decided
    her set up was inadequate. Fortunately, animal control couldn't come
    immediately so they let her go.

    She had forgotten her brief case with her rabies certificates in them. It
    was the greatest good fortune that they failed to ask. You all need to know
    that in many areas animal terrorist (nothing they do is right) groups
    are in
    control of animal welfare and of animal control.

    During this event they would not let her daughter get out of the car to
    smoke a cigarette. One officer went to the side of the car after she asked
    and stood there to prevent her from leaving the vehicle. She became very
    frightened and called her father. Then she heard them tell the others to
    turn off the cameras and she became even more afraid. Both were made to
    like they were in a third world country because they had dogs in the car.

    The following are some of the things that are critical to know to keep
    you &
    your animals safe:

    1. Dog owners need to be alerted to the current climate. Please understand
    this current outrage may be the direct result of the influence of animal
    activist groups disguised as animal welfare groups. Law enforcement is on
    board with them in many areas because they view them as experts. HSUS gives
    law enforcement positive press. HSUS donates money to many reelection
    campaigns. Some officials have been given nice jobs with HSUS when they
    retired from public office.

    Animal Terrorists are succeeding in getting laws passed that restrict our
    freedoms of animal ownership. Their influence is sometimes apparent among
    public officials at every level including law enforcement and animal

    If you read Saul Alinsky - "Rules for Radicals" you will see the method
    use to enact new laws that seem so warm-and-fuzzy but in reality are aimed
    directly at each of us. They don't want us to have (pet owners you are not
    exempt) or breed animals and they are willing to do anything to stop us -
    lie, cheat, steal.

    According to Alinsky "Rules for Radicals", to affect radical change, First:
    you create a problem (out of thin air). Animal Terrorists have created the
    language which includes the term "puppy mill", "back yard Breeder", "hobby
    breeder", "vanity breeder", "basement breeder". The uninformed jump on the
    band wagon and the next thing you know commercial breeders just breed
    another litter of pups to offset new costs while you and I are forced to
    become criminals, give up our dogs, or to sign away our constitutional
    rights in order to have a dog.

    2. Keep your dog papers in your vehicle when you travel with your
    animals. I
    can't stress this enough. I've been guilty of driving without them but no
    more. It could cost you thousands of dollars, or worse you could lose your
    dogs. Your dogs could be taken into custody to a pound till you could get
    your papers to show authorities. You would be powerless to stop them.
    Meanwhile, no telling what they would be subjected to in that environment.
    Further, some communities/states have laws that state any animal
    and taken to a shelter must be spayed or neutered before it is returned.
    These things might be fought against in court but your animals would
    be spayed or neutered, or even euthanized, before you could win in
    court. It
    has happened to others. Eventually some others have won in court but their
    animals were all already dead, spayed, neutered, and/or sold to pet people
    that "rescued" them from the shelter (who happened to make a chunk of
    change off your stolen dogs and from the PR of having "rescued" them).

    3. Stay Street-Legal. Make sure your car is travel worthy before any trip.
    No lights burned out, no out-of-date inspection sticker, etc. Give them no
    reason to stop you for a minor infraction. The constitution still protects
    us against illegal search and seizure without probable cause. Above all DO
    NOT SPEED. If you are in a big hurry, leave earlier. Giving the police a
    right to stop you under color of law has officially just gotten way more

    Apparently our fellow club member was stopped unconstitutionally - IMO.
    Right or wrong, she was victimized only because they could see her dogs in
    her car. It is a sad state of affairs when our constitutional rights can be
    violated because we have a visible dog in the car. Sadly, you might have to
    consider this when you get your next vehicle.

    4. Buy or borrow a video camera. Video tape your dogs kennels, the
    of the kennel, your dogs' condition, water containers, bedding, etc. Have a
    video of your dogs competing at a dog show. If animal control shows up
    tape the entire event. If they take your dogs, go to the shelter & video
    tape the place they take them if possible. One fellow in AL with show pit
    bulls did this and he got his dogs back.

    5. Keep a contact person's number in your cell phone. If you get into a
    situation like the one that happened near Birmingham you might need someone
    to call that can send help. We need to develop a system of hot lines
    out the country so a volunteer in each state or area could come to help in
    an emergency.

    6. JRTCA members and the Magnolia Group should join with the My Dog My
    Choice members and contact the elected state officials for AL and the
    Birmingham Chamber of Commerce &/or Jefferson County officials to lodge a
    formal written complaint. We need to organize a letter writing campaign. I
    will create a sample letter and get us addresses to use. Email me at
    HYPERLINK ""> net
    HYPERLINK ""> for this information.

    If an area gets the reputation of being in an unsafe place for dog
    owners to
    travel, exhibitors will not attend events in that area. The person that had
    been victimized went home through Birmingham after dark and went to a
    different town to spend the night because she was afraid. Even then she was
    afraid in the motel so close to the area.

    It is bad for the local economy to lose a source of revenue. How many
    would go to the GA trial, for instance, if they worried about traveling
    through AL? Dollars spent in a community roll over 9 times in that area.

    Having a dog in the car does not automatically make us criminals and remove
    our 4th amendment rights against illegal search and seizure.

    7. Just so you know, TN is the state where police shot a man's dog and
    victimized his family when he accidentally left his wallet on top of his
    car. They thought the money blowing off was evidence that he was a robber.
    The man has won a suit in court over it but his dog is dead, his wife and
    children are traumatized and his knee is permanently injured.

    In LA a man's pit bulls were taken and killed within 24 hours. He proved he
    was innocent in court but all his animals were already dead. He is suing.

    The newest hype they are introducing as another "First create a problem" is
    the idea that dogs have a larger carbon foot print than an SUV. Think that
    is too far out to be believed or to matter? Will you still think so if they
    pass a law which requires you to pay a Cap and Trade tax to keep your dog,
    or a national limit on the size and number of dogs you can own?

    You can't begin to imagine the things I'm reading about the
    victimization of
    animal owners & the loss of our freedom of animal ownership in communities
    all over the USA. We must all wake up and become proactive before it gets
    any worse.

    Don't be sucked into any of the animal terrorists' agendas (like puppy mill
    bills etc). And for heaven's sake don't send money to any of them or let
    your families and friends do so. It's not just the commercial breeder. It's
    not just the pit bull people. It is not just the other guy. It is your
    personal freedom of quiet enjoyment with your animals and it is happening
    TODAY. We can stand together or we can all fall one by one. Think about it


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