A Little History Lesson Is In Order Here...
For those readers that are unaware, Pam Rogers was a author of the infamous Louisville, KY, animal control ordinance. The very ordinance that the Louisville Kennel Club (and various other individuals) filed a federal lawsuit against, and were successful in several key areas. For the complete ruling issued by Judge Charles R. Simpson (U.S. District Court), please click here.
One of the unconstitutional findings (relative to the "seizure/forfeiture bond") by the Honorable Judge Simpson was that:
Section 91.101 of the Louisville/Jefferson County Metro Government code of Ordinances is declared unconstitutional insofar as it threatens to deprive pet owners of their property rights without a finding of guilt...Metro is hereby enjoined from enforcing 91.101 in the manner just described.Forfeiture/Seizure Bonds Are Unconstitutional
You would think that HSUS got the message from Judge Simpson's ruling, but apparently not. (Too much tofu and not enough meat protein, perhaps?)
This bill is a cleverly worded state version of that portion of the Louisville/Jefferson County ordinance. It is still just as bad, and still seeks to deprive owners of their Constitutional Due Process Rights. That is, no state (or person or anyone) can deprive you of your property without an actual finding of GUILT.
This bill seeks to give "ownership" of animals to third parties PRIOR to a finding of guilt of the accused. It also seeks to force those accused in crimes relating to animal cruelty to post a bond. It does not matter whether or not someone can afford to post this type of bond, the bottom line is that no one has the right to give "ownership" of YOUR PROPERTY to someone else!
What about after the trial, and a person is found innocent? This bill does not make it clear that the animals will be returned to the owner; nor does it spell out--with certainty-- that any monies paid will be returned to the rightful owner. It is part of our American judicial system that society bears the brunt (costs) associated with finding a person guilty or innocent. Cases involving those accused with crimes against animals should be treated no differently.
The very concept of a "forfeiture" or "seizure" bond greatly undermines the idea that a person is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law; depriving someone (or attempting to deprive someone) of their personal property by their ability (or inability) to cough up huge sums of cash flat-out crushes the 14th Amendment.
Our judicial system is not perfect; however, we are afforded certain protections under the U.S. Constitution. More and more, the animal rights industry (namely the Humane Society of the United States) would have us to believe that animal owners are somehow different; that we are not entitled to those same protections against warrantless searches and seizures, the right to due process, the right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty, the right to a fair and speedy trial, etc.
Kentucky HB 517 Seeks to Grant Police Powers to HSUS "Agents"
If that statement doesn't scare the crap out of you, then I don't know what will.
Those of us that closely montior the anti-animal owner/breeder legislative climate across the U.S. have seen one too many cases of the HSUS using their phony badges and phony legal "authority" to "raid" breeders/animal owners.
In case any of you missed the memo, HSUS is NOT a governmental authority on anything; they have no police powers. Their "agents" are nothing more than individuals playing dress-up; much like we all did as kids. Except when HSUS agents play cops and robbers, the result is dead animals and individuals deprived of their due process rights!
Recently, a South Dakota dog breeder was "raided" illegally (judge threw the search warrant out) by a local "rescue" group, aided by HSUS agents playing dress-up. In addition to the judge throwing out the warrant, and this fiasco costing untold thousands of dollars to the community---dogs are dead as a result.
And, who could forget the "S.W.A.T Team style" raid (complete with Blackhawk helicopters!) on Louisiana "pit bull" breeder, Floyd Boudreaux? Another case of all dogs dead, due process rights thrown out the window, and THOUSANDS of dollars wasted. The outcome? The judge threw out the case.
But, hey, it's all good to HSUS, right? These highly publicized cases garnered them untold amounts in donations, their phony agents got to dress up like "real-live cops" complete with guns-a-blazin', over-inflated egos got blown up some more. So what that these owners were denied their rights and helpless animals ended up dead, right?
OPPOSE KY HB 517: BAD FOR OWNERS, ANIMALS AND THE STATE OF KY
Call or write to the Chairman of the House Agriculture and Small Business Committee, Representative Tom McKee. Then call 1-800-372-7181 and leave a message for YOUR state Rep. to OPPOSE KY HB 517 in its entirety. It is also a good idea to email them as well!
Join our page on Facebook, "Stop KY HB517: Bad for Animal Owners, Animals, And The State!"
Once you join our page, please "share" the link with your Facebook friends by posting the link on your own profile page.
It will take all of us working together to keep KY HSUS-free!