Updated: Your Rights as a U.S. Citizen Who Owns Pets

Although this information, which I posted on Facebook yesterday, is directed at dog owners in Sikeston, MO where authorities are rounding up dogs based on body shape, it could potentially apply to any pet owner, anywhere, anytime.

Dog owners in Sikeston, MO – keep your doors locked. Do not answer the door if AC knocks. Do not give them permission to come into your home. If they do not have your permission, they have to get a search warrant. Make them get one. This is a travesty.

Lisa from Hospets shared info from this link that has been widely circulated on the net and tells pet owners exactly what to do and what not to do when AC knocks on your door – whether you live in a BSL area or not.  It’s good to review this document periodically to remind yourself of your rights and how to best protect yourself and your pets.

To that excellent list I would add that when AC is conducting illegal seizures under BSL, no dog owner should assume he is safe because his dog is not a Pitbull (or whatever “breed” they are targeting). It may be obvious to the owner that the dog is not a Pitbull but the owner’s opinion will not count. Keep the door locked.

Many people are understandably outraged at the illegal seizure of pets from law abiding citizens.  Some have made extreme suggestions such as moving or physically resisting and many have drawn comparisons to Nazi Germany.  People in Sikeston don’t need to flee or resort to violence. They need to stand up, speak up and refuse to shut up until someone in a position to stop this madness listens.  It’s important to remember that Hitler counted on the masses to do what people in uniform told them to do – even if they believed it was ethically wrong, unfair and/or illegal. By and large they did and this was a key component in his rise to power.  Compassionate, reasonable people always outnumber ignorant sadists. They just tend to keep quiet.

AddedKC Dog Blog has posted an update on the situation in Sikeston.  It sounds as if authorities are backing down.

37 thoughts on “Updated: Your Rights as a U.S. Citizen Who Owns Pets

  1. When will the voice of the people be heard? We don’t want BSL! THESE JERKS ARE ELECTED AND ARE NOT FREE TO DO

  2. Get the dogs out of town temporarily. I would ban together everyone if it meant contacting a realitor and putting all the house in town up for sale to protest and leave the friggin town a ghost town. Serves them right

    1. Yep, leave town and take your tax dollars and business with you. Warn your business owners first. Perhaps they might have something to say about being ruined when their customers bail. For those who can’t afford to leave shop elsewhere online, preferably in a town where they have repealed this disgusting legislation.

    1. “What to do when they come knocking,” has the best responses for anyone that may find themselves in ACO’s or other’s sights that may bring trouble. Everyone should save the document or effectively remember it as it is excellent advice.

  3. Saved the document. Shared this post on both of my pages, plus personal profile. Have also shared Brent’s blog post about Sikeston on same pages plus a number of others. The situation is disgusting, and is another Denver in the making (even if the numbers are less).

  4. Update on the Sikeston situation posted at KC Dog Blog, which included a link to an update on Sikeston Area Humane Society Facebook page.

  5. Not only is this a gross violation of personal freedom to choose what type pet a person or family wants to have, illegal search and seizure, based on media hype, not just cause, owners are deprived of right to appeal or request injunction for temperament exams and a million other illegal, unjust, and unconscionable reasons and factors…

    It is unlikely that the people responsible for determining if these dogs in Sikeston are pit bulls, or pit bull “type” dogs, are AKC judges, veterinarians, professional trainers, breeders, or animal behaviorists that are much more likely to actually know and be intimately familiar with breed standards to accurately identify them.

    So..basically, the city of Sikeston has charged, tried, and sentenced to death the loved pets of their own residents, without any just cause, fair trial, based on media fueled hysteria, that is readily de-bunked with bite statistics, case studies, and a quick look into how man domesticated canines, selectively choosing those who were loyal, even-tempered, and would protect man from danger. It is literally programmed into dogs genes over thousands of years to protect and serve their owners.

    And then the Sikeston Inquisitors have charged over-worked, under-paid, AC officers to carry out their witch hunt. These AC officers are not given a breed standard guideline to follow, may or may not be qualified to accurately assess breed type, allowed full rein to arbitrarily decide which families pet will be executed. One officer may say a dog is a lab mix, while another officer might say the exact same dog looks like a pit mix in their opinion.

    This also leaves wide open the possibility for someone who may have a grudge with a neighbor, co-worker, etc…to say, hey, they have pit pull mix over here you need to come pick up. Or even an AC officer might misuse their professional authority because of personal issues. Daschunds are typically in the top of the bite stats, and Labradors generally will rank higher than pit bulls in bite statistics as well…yet no one is yanking up granny’s weiner dog, or little Johnny’s lab.

    Why is this being allowed to continue in Sikeston, MO?

      1. Bring whatever experts you like to the matter, none are listened to by these control freaks.
        In New Zealand they’re even more cunning. We don’t get this overt witch hunt seizing dogs like the US and UK. Our Pit Bulls and their lookalikes are just automatically listed as ‘dangerous’ and a desexing order applied as they are discovered. They think they’re getting our dogs one-by-one. No hue and cry down here as each lone voice is ignored.
        If you can’t afford to desex your pet – and a lot of NZers can’t find the fees for desexing out of thin air in just 4 weeks (around $300 for a bitch and $180 for a dog) – then they seize your pet and when you can’t pay the whopping fines ($3k) THEN they kill your pet. Nice people.

  6. Because so many dogs are a little of this, and a little of that, the only accurate way to determine their “breed” would be through blood tests. If these morons in Sikeston are so very concerned with protecting their residents from their own pets, you would think they would be making absolutely sure that all the dogs they are rounding up are actually pits or pit mixes. God forbid they would miss one because it looks more like it’s beagle daddy than it’s pitty mama. What if it falls through the cracks and defends it’s family from a burglar, or licks someone to death?

  7. I am involved in cat stuff more then dog stuff so I see posts by people running afoul of having more animals then allowed by their city. So I have learned some valuable lessons (there is no l imit on cats in my town so they aren’t necessary for me, but you never know what can happen)

    1) only answer the question that was asked – yes or no is fine. Never volunteer any information

    2) You do not need to let them into your home unless they have a search warrant. Step outside to talk to them and close the door behind you. There is no need to be on your host manners if AC comes knocking

    3) if you think that they will actually get that search warrant and come back – get a lawyer and learn what your rights are in that particular jurisdiction.

    PS – this was typed while a cat was sitting in front of the screen so please excuse any typos

    1. if you watch house hunters international on HGTV alot of americans are moving out of the united states to such places as japan,australia,germany,italy,even africa,some are going up north to canada.sweden is becoming a place also for americans.americans are getting fed up with what is going on here in america.pets are more accepted over seas.london england is also becoming the choice for americans.

      1. Uh, well my wife and I watch House Hunters International and I haven’t heard anybody say that they were moving out of the country for anything but a job or some adventure. Hating the government or wanting to go someplace better for their pets has never been mentioned. I don’t sense that there is a mass exodus out of the country because HGTV has found a few expats that want to be on TV. I do like it when the families have dogs though.

  8. I called the City Manager’s office and of course he was unavailable. I told the woman I spoke with that people across the country are outraged. She said basically that it’s not a roundup, and that they have to follow the law. I told her they are the government e and they can just not enforce the law until it is changed. Which is what happens whenever laws are rejected by the public. I urged people on twitter to bombard the City Manager’s office with calls 573-471-2512 And here’s the link to their contact form on their web site. http://www.sikeston.org/contact_us_online_form.html

    1. Good for you NKD. People like you stop these ‘enforcers’ in their tracks. Sleep well tonight knowing that dog owners sleep well thanks to people like you challenging the status quo.

  9. In the latest update on Brent’s KC Dog Blog (http://btoellner.typepad.com/kcdogblog/2012/12/update-on-the-situation-in-sikeston.html) Trace White of the Sikeston Humane Society stated that 30 dogs were shipped out to other shelters and/or rescues in order to take in the dogs seized by Sikeston Animal Control. I was wondering what will happen to this 30 dogs? How many of them will die and will Sikeston Humane Society take them back now since the roundup was stopped and only 3 dogs were seized?

    1. Beware the lies told in damage control. The police were all ‘attacked’ before they shot dead all those Pit Bulls, right?
      Talk to St Louis before you accept this version of ‘official’ events from the Humane Society who would know what side their bread is buttered on.

  10. The same thing happened in Toledo, Ohio under dog warden Tom Skeldon. His staff literally went door to door looking for pit bull type dogs. And not like he was some sort of expert of determining what breed any dog was, he ordered hundreds, possibly thousands of family pets to be euthanized, now estimating at least a third of those destroyed had no pit blood what so ever. One pit bull per property was allowed, but what if your dog had pups? People actually went to jail and had new litters confiscated and killed. It was sickening. And it was not only dogs who had proven themselves dangerous, it was any and all who looked in the least bit *pitty*. Meanwhile, the Lab population was exploding, and people were being bitten, harassed and threatened by them, and nobody would do a stinkin’ thing about it. To this day, over a third of the dogs in Lucas County animal shelter are Lab mixes, but nobody fined those derelict owners….. We now have a new warden who is not anti-pit breed, and the witch hunt is over – for now. People stand up for your rights and those of all pets!

  11. n the state of ohio cops do enter your home on probable cause without a search warrant. You don’t even have the freedom of speech anymore. Call your husband/boyfriend out of their name and see how quick you go to jail for domestic violence. Or I have a better one just say that you are going to sell drugs and see how quick you get charged with a felony. I know how the law works. Probable cause in Ohio means to suspect that something is wrong and they can come onto your property. To many loopholes have been built into your constitutional rights. That’s what is wrong with laws and legislations that are put in place more and more rights are being taken away from the people. Laws are meant to manipulate the situtation. I am for peoples rights not against them. I am a true independent conservative and I fight for peoples rights and not against them. Lets not forget your bill of rights is part of your constitutional rights.. Socialism kills

    1. Isn’t that more reasons for wanting to get the hell out of Dodge?

      Animal issues are just one of many reasons for leaving or wanting to leave the country, but it’s one good reason for me. There are too many A holes who have too little respect for animals here.

      One of my doctors left for Iceland a few years ago. Lucky her. Iceland has been rated as among the happiest people on earth. Wonder why?

      1. I doubt it’s an absence of animal cruelty. Among other things, sealing and whaling are important industries there, and horse meat is popular. I remember reading something last year about wire fences left derelict, too, that were killing reindeer.

        I look through animal-related news every day, and it seems to me that there’s no country that’s exempt.

  12. In addition to BSL seizures many communities are having pet limits forced on them.
    In my rural area of Florida we are fighting Planning and Development/Codes who want to limit agricultural zoned land to 3 pets per 1/2 acre- which will kill my foster homes as one mama cat that gives birth to a litter of more than two- will be out of compliance and the animals would be confiscated with fines and penalties – there would be no warning, they don’t have to have probable cause, and codes or whoever they appoint are to be held harmless in all actions. On my 30 acres I would be limited to 7 unless I got a kennel license of $165 a year, subject to unannounced inspection(tresspass) – they want the ability to cut off my locks on my gates, fines, and again they would be held harmless – and I would have no legal recourse. Hunters dogs would be exempt.
    We are everywhere losing our rights under the 4th amendment and our due process with these regulatory takings..

    1. And why Kittypurr? Because we comply. They know we are scared not to because of the penalties they can bring to bear. These people are bullies out of control and until we get organised and collectively punch the bully on the nose they will continue to legislate our pets out of existence.
      Even where they’ve repealed BSL they’ve swapped out breedism for size-ism so now it’s not your dog’s breed it’s his weight. But one way or another they’re going to make you get rid of your dog if you’re in public housing. Same here in NZ where dogs are no longer welcome in public housing but it’s not a publicly stated policy. It’s done by stealth.

  13. @Karen- I agree. I would imagine that unless we Can cut off the Telly on US football or NZ Rugby we won’t get enough zoned out people to wake up.

  14. We’ve received a warning from Animal Control about our chickens being off our property. What should I do if they come back again?

    For the record, we have 1. clipped their wings, 2. extended the fence (it’s a 6.5 foot privacy board on board fence) and 3. never been able to witness them leaving our property. Yes, they can get over the fence – but every single time I have ever gone outside they are in our yard or in our driveway. In 8 months I have never once gone to check on them and found they were NOT on our property. Maybe they are sneaking off when they know we are gone?

    We are allowed the chickens, they just have to be contained. The ACO was very nice but I’m concerned that clearly someone in our neighborhood is upset about the chickens, and instead of coming to us is just trying to get us in trouble. Anyway can we demand the person who is complaining provide proof?

  15. Never have I seen an X on a ballot box giving my okay for elected personnal the right to seize my property (AKA a family pet) and distroy same.

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