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PSPCA removes 11 filthy dogs from Philly Basset kennel

article on same site with comments from Pack owner PSPCA seizes beloved basset hounds in Roxborough

and a follow up blog on why many are not buying PSPCA explaination including a slightly differrent version of events from a PSPCA spokesperson
SPCA outrage in Philly 2 --PSPCA strikes Back

interesting article on the Problems and criticisms of PSPCA since taking over the animal control function of the city of Philly in Jan of this year
A "no-kill" expert tries to save the city's animal control contractor from its own worst mistakes.

Pennsylvania SPCA: Stopping animal abuse or abusing power?
Three days later, with no warning, PSPCA humane police officer Chad Weaver served a search warrant and issued a threat to the Newmans.

"He said, 'This can end right now. If you give me all your animals, this can end.' He said they would drop the animal cruelty charges if I cooperated and gave all my animals over," Kevin Newman said. The animals had food, water and shelter. Newman did not agree to give them up.

This tactic is part of PSPCA humane officer training statewide.

"We were taught to intimidate people into giving their animals up. We were told to tell them 'in lieu of charges, surrender your animals,'" said one former PSPCA humane officer.

Some former officers say there was a quota.[/b]
Michael Tefts
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Marriam Posted on another board They-came-for-the-bassets


That the BHCA is invovled, giving the venerable Barbara Wickland the task of trying to find the location and condition of the hounds along with the facts of the case. and Larry Little of GABR has been notified as well



Michael Tefts
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
The local SPCA has pretty much shot itself in the foot over this incident, and has likely set back its cause considerably.[/b]

Compared to issue it the last coupe of years this is realitively minor in the area of Animal Control. The way the shelters are bieng run has been fraudulent as well.

Allen v. Pennsylvania S.P.C.A.

Witmer withdrew the citations on March 17, 2004, and Hopkins filed new citations against Allen,
alleging essentially the same offenses. At the time Hopkins filed the citations, however, she was not
properly registered as a humane society police officer in Cumberland County and, therefore, had no
authority to file the citations, a fact elicited during the cross-examination of Hopkins at Allen's
summary trial on the charges. On April 5, 2004, Magisterial District Justice Schulenberger, who was
presiding over the summary trial, dismissed all of the citations against Allen because of this fatal flaw
in Allen's prosecution. Defendants did not appeal this decision....

The following day-April 6, 2004-Hopkins filed fifteen new criminal citations with Judge
Schulenberger, despite the judge's statement the previous day that she would not hear the charges again.
Hopkins withdrew the charges on April 8, 2004, only to file a new set of fifteen citations alleging
essentially the same offenses the same day.
It appears that Hopkins had still not properly registered as a human society police officer in
Cumberland County when she filed the April 6, 2004, charges, thus requiring their withdrawal
and subsequent refiling on April 8, 2004, the day after she had registered. (See Doc. No. 20-3, at
3) (citing Order, Philadelphia County C.P. Ct., October 31, 2000, recorded in Cumberland
County, April 7, 2004).

...President Judge Hoffer concluded that Allen's second summary trial was
held in violation of 18 Pa. Cons.Stat. § 109 (2004) , which codifies the principles of double jeopardy
under state law: “[J]eopardy attached to the first summary trial and, therefore, the dismissal prohibited
the Commonwealth from subjecting [Allen] to another trial on the same charges.�

...Despite Allen's successful appeal of his convictions, Hopkins, PSPCA, and HSHA refused to return
Allen's animals, prompting him to file a motion seeking their return pursuant to Pennsylvania Rule of
Criminal Procedure 588.

...During this hearing, Hopkins “failed and/or refused to disclose the whereabouts of the animals;
at another point, she stated that she did not know where they were,� though she acknowledged
that some had been euthanized. She also invoked her Fifth Amendment right to be free from
self-incrimination when asked if she ever lied about any of the animals being deceased.[/b]

<a href="http://www.paed.uscourts.gov/documents/opinions/05D0193P.pdf" target="_blank">" OHN WILLIAM RITZEL |
Plaintiff,v. PENNSYLVANIA SOCIETY FOR THE PREVENTION OF CRUELTY TO ANIMALS (SPCA), ET AL</a>

Related Documents
See the resignation of Animal Control officers state that the PSPCA wanted to them engage in illegal siezures and PSPCA replys

HSPO Tammy Kerr’s letter of resignation from PSPCA
I had done nothing wrong in Venango County, Sir, other than follow PSPCA’s orders. I was not sworn in Venango County. I wasn’t told before this happened that I needed to be. That was PSPCA’s job to tell me and I feel let down. I feel betrayed and that I was not backed up. You have basically let me out to hang. I didn’t dispatch myself to that call. PSPCA sent me there. I was given the Venango County swearing in paperwork on July 28, 2008. May I remind you of the days that I had been at the Duff residence? July 7 and 10 of 2008. Someone should have thought of this well before then. But it wouldn’t have been a big deal if Mr. Martin hadn’t picked up on it.[/b]
Note another "siezure" in which "officer had no jurisdition"
Humane Office Tammy Kerr Testifies in PSPCA Case
During the proceedings, cruelty investigator Tammy Kerr told President Judge Oliver Lobaugh she was not a legal humane society police officer in Venango County when she confronted the Duff’s about the cats.
...“I was under the assumption that I was a humane society police officer across the state,� Kerr explained on the stand.

She couldn’t identify a superior at the PSPCA who told her this, but added that it was a “general understanding,â€� and how she was trained.

Kerr began working for the PSPCA in June, and has since raised questions about how the organization operates.

“I was hired to investigate crimes, not just rescue animals,â€� she after the hearing. “Before all this came about I would have acted like I was sworn in, like a police officer. That’s what I would have been expected to do.â€�

PSPCA officials denied asking staff to participate in illegal activities in a release issued Wednesday.

“We never ask our officers to act as officers in counties where they are not sworn and registered,� said Howard Nelson, PSPCA chief executive officer. “In those counties, they are answering calls as rescue agents - which is legal.�[/b]
There seem to be substaintial lacking in training recieve by HSPO which is a whooping 64 hours and cost $650.00 Pennsylvania Humane Police Officer Training Program



Jones-Newman v. The Pennsylvania Society[ for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals et al
requires a PASCER account which involves a small fee for page

for overview see Pennsylvania SPCA: Stopping animal abuse or abusing power?

<a href="http://www.pet-abuse.com/cases/7254/PA/US/" target="_blank">Neglect - 73 animals seized
Thompson, PA (US)</a>
Weaver called the case one of the worst he's seen since being at the Susquehanna County Humane Society.

"Everything there was a mess: the house, the small barn, the big barn," he said.[/b]

given that that when ajudecated in court of the 27 count only one was upheld Keven Newman was convicted of unsanitary condition for four dogs, fined, and all animal were ordered returned seem to support the Newman's version of events more so than the PSPCA

<a href="http://www.animallaw.info/cases/causpa2007wl1990510.htm" target="_blank">Snead v. Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals of Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania </a>

Snead arrived during the seizure of the property and was arrested on dog fighting charges, which were then dropped the next day (Snead was later convicted of the summary offense of animal cruelty). However, Snead was not aware that the charges were dropped and that the dogs were therefore available to be reclaimed. Snead went to the shelter to check on the dogs two days later and spoke with the director of animal care, who informed Snead that all of the dogs had been euthanized. Snead was told that the shelter is only required to keep animals for 48 hours; and since the charges were dropped and the dogs were no longer needed as evidence, they were put to sleep. It turned out that the dogs were not euthanized until three days later. Snead testified that had she been provided notice that the dogs were available to be redeemed, she would have taken them back and complied with any SPCA conditions[/b]
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
but from what I've read it's not the law but rather the enforcement and training of the people that is creating the probelms.[/b]

But in PA that is the law that allows and incourages Non-govermental agency to sieze private property with little oversight and an difficult process to regulate because there oversight is done by the courts.

An know there is a move in the legislature of PA to reduce the liability of such non-government officers

Humane officers can carry guns; may get more power

Rep. John Siptroth: SPCA not immune to lawsuits in bill

HOUSE BILL No. 2547

Michael Tefts
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I hope they can file suit against the officials who used their powers illegally. No one should abuse the powers of a public office.[/b]

the problem is Humane Officer is a PSCA employee and not a government employee vested with the powers of the state. The control of disipline regulation etc are in the hands solely of the local courts The only real course of action is unfortunatly is in a civil court action. and there is legislation afoot to make this much harder by raising the threshold of from simply negligence to gross negligence et. al.



Michael Tefts
 
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