“[14-year-old chow mix] Harley was confiscated from [owner Tammy] Brown in 2011 by a Pasco County, Fla., animal services officer and euthanized. At the time, he had some pus in his eyes and some of his skin was cracked and bleeding. Although Brown couldn’t afford to take the dog to the vet, the state argued at a hearing last year that she could have taken Harley to a local shelter or animal rescue.” [Martha Neil, ABA Journal]
More, follow-up story on sentencing: after 36 days in jail, Brown drew six months house arrest, three years probation, $1,000 in court costs, and an order that she not own a pet of any kind. The prosecutor, pointing to earlier misdemeanor convictions not involving animals, had asked that she be given a year behind bars.
“The Indianapolis Star reports that the Indiana Department of Natural Resources wants to prosecute Jeff and Jennifer Counceller for taking care of an injured deer that showed up on their doorstep.” [CBS Cleveland via Amy Alkon, Dan Mitchell] A while back I wrote about the case in which a Virginia family got in trouble with the feds after their 11-year-old rescued a baby woodpecker in their back yard and cared for it for a day or two before releasing it.
Key West, Fla.: “The Ernest Hemingway Home & Museum reports that it currently houses between 40 and 50 cats [descended from the famous author's beloved six-toed cat]…. A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit ruled Friday that the Hemingway Home falls under the classification of an ‘animal exhibitor,’ subject to regulation by the U.S. Department of Agriculture under the Animal Welfare Act.” [David Demirbilek, Daily Caller; Christian Science Monitor; ABA Journal]
In the New York Daily News, Lawrence Cunningham argues that skewed economic incentives — some of them advanced by the actions of federal prosecutors, who applied muscle in a tax-fraud settlement to press for the casino-ization of Aqueduct Race Track — contributed to the deaths of 21 racehorses, most of whom were entered in races with purses artificially inflated so as far to exceed their own economic worth. “Politicians and prosecutors should not direct business changes without understanding their significance. What’s happening to the horses at Aqueduct could have been prevented.”
“The [Florida] DOT had hired TransCore months earlier to install a wildlife warning system along the stretch of eastern Collier County road, infamous for being deadly for the endangered wildcats, to test whether the system would reduce the number of collisions between panthers and vehicles. It didn’t help [motorcyclist Kenneth] Nolan,” who ran into a panther and is now suing over the consequent injury. [Eric Staats, Naples News via Julie Meadows-Keefe]
The judge ruled that “even though the park could have acted more quickly to kill or relocate the goat, its actions are immune from lawsuits under the Federal Tort Claims Act because they involved an exercise of discretion related to public policy.” [Peninsula Daily News, Washington; AP; earlier here and here]
The way Lafayette County, Miss. authorities saw it, Oxford animal rescuer Stephanie Mitchell was in violation of a state law making it a felony to take or carry away another person’s dog. Mitchell says the dog was a stray and that she had put the dog’s picture on Facebook trying to identify its owner. [WMC]
You didn’t think it was going to stop with humans, did you? The fines in New Jersey for driving with pets not restrained by harnesses or carriers are a lot bigger than the fines for driving with unbelted people [John Cichowski, "Not buckling up your pet in the car can mean big fines," NorthJersey.com] (& Alkon)
It’s presumably an intended effect of the recent court ruling that landlords will threaten families with eviction unless they stop keeping the dogs as pets, and that skittish insurers will hike rates on such households sharply or refuse to insure them entirely. But there is much uncertainty as to exactly which dogs count as “pit bulls”; will Maryland pet owners need to shell out for DNA testing, at $120 a pop? And is it also an intended effect of the ruling that unoffending, well-trained dogs end up being euthanized in droves? “Ohio recently repealed its statewide breed-specific legislation because it was ineffective and inequitable,” notes my Cato Institute colleague Nita Ghei. [Daily Caller, earlier]
Canine custody, that is: Craig Dershowitz says he’s spent $60,000 suing his ex-girlfriend over who will get their dog. “It’s worth it,” he says. [NY Post via Elie Mystal, Above the Law]
“Oregon officials … want federal approval to shoot a sea bird that eats millions of baby salmon trying to reach the ocean. Oregon needs federal approval to start shooting double-crested cormorants because the birds are protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.” The state has previously attempted to protect the salmon fry by paying for speedboats and firecrackers to harass the cormorants, but “harassment has ‘proved insufficient.’” [East Oregonian via Balko]
P.S.: Meanwhile, “Federal prosecutors hope to use an obscure law to punish two recreational pilots whose low flying may have disturbed thousands of resting migratory birds in Iowa.” [h/t Baylen Linnekin]
The premise is that they are a public health menace since standing water in them might afford a haven for mosquitoes that carry West Nile virus. [Gideon Kanner]
A Bridgeport attorney for Charla Nash says the attack could have been avoided had Connecticut been tougher in enforcing its regulations. [WCBS]