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BAD day need information on property rights

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        02-01-2013, 08:07 PM
      #51
    Showing
    If a horse was down then yes the SPCA can enter the property. Otherwise, at least in Ontario, they have to have a search warrant. Check your state laws. An ex-boarder called them, not on me but on the other boarder. She wanted him to move his horse to where she'd moved hers. The complaint was that the horse had no salt and no hay. They had seen this when going down the main road on snowmachines. That was the best part because a hill makes the yard private. The lady came and we chatted then wandered over to the horses. I said "oh, btw, that's the poor horse (rather tubby) with no hay and there were two round bales in her pasture. I showed the lady the big salt lick and one could tell it had been there a while. A big waste of her time. The lad liked it with me and stayed. It didn't take a pile of brains to figure out who had placed the call.
         
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        02-01-2013, 09:08 PM
      #52
    Banned
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by chubbypony    
    We got in contact with the SPCA today and my mom had a short conversation with the woman from the shelter. She said someone noticed your horses were out in the cold rain and called us to check in and make sure they were being cared for....

    My mom kept it short because it was almost like the woman was digging. Its pretty much all except she made a little remark at the end like as if she needs to make us a visit again...

    So much stress over what well thanks everyone now im more informed on this.
    My main concern is not showing her around its that some person I don't know if wondering around my horses, I would blame my self if anyone every was injured because of one of them...

    Thanks again
    Happy trails

    If I were your Mom, I would have scheduled a time for her to come out so I could show her around. And I would have all vets bills, feed receipts, farrier bills etc there at that meeting.
         
        02-01-2013, 10:06 PM
      #53
    Trained
    You might want to read here:

    State Humane Societies and Enforcement Powers

    Detailed Discussion of Humane Societies and Enforcement Powers

    Chapter 37. Humane Society Police Officers

    "The law enforcement approach grants all police powers to the humane society agent. Occasionally, states will even deputize these agents when granting police powers. Police powers granted to humane society agents include seizing animals, investigating animal abuse, executing search warrants, issuing citations, and arresting offenders. States may also allow the agent to carry a firearm in executing law enforcement duties. Many states that use this approach maintain detailed regulatory systems to monitor and train agents. For instance, Pennsylvania devotes a whole chapter of their Code to humane society agents with regulations ranging from appointment, qualifications, training, and powers. Likewise, California’s regulatory regime is complex enough to designate two levels of humane society agents."

    In the USA, state laws vary enormously. It is important to look for what YOUR state allows. What someone else's state allows can be 180 out...
    chubbypony likes this.
         
        02-01-2013, 10:10 PM
      #54
    Foal
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AlexS    
    If I were your Mom, I would have scheduled a time for her to come out so I could show her around. And I would have all vets bills, feed receipts, farrier bills etc there at that meeting.
    Yeh, I think my mom was in more of a shock with how the woman was questioning us. I did pull all our vet records made copies along with feed, hay, farrier, vet, chiro, and stable rent bills. I figured no matter what it would be good to have a copy of it all anyways.

    I also spoke to a co worker today, they did the same thing to her except it was in the summer and they thought her horses should be inside.
         
        02-02-2013, 12:46 AM
      #55
    Green Broke
    Yeah, I got reported for blindfolding my horses too! Oh and not cleaning pens, the officer that came out laughed and said your pens are cleaner than mine!
    Wrote down as nuisance neighbor complaint.
    BigBenLoverforLife likes this.
         
        02-02-2013, 07:31 AM
      #56
    Showing
    Make them get a search warrant. If you weren't issued an order to comply then they have no reason to follow up. An order to comply could be small things that were overlooked. And they have to give you a reasonable amount of time to comply.
    boots likes this.
         
        02-02-2013, 01:50 PM
      #57
    Started
    IMHO my advice would be to know your rights, have all info re:care, vet bills, feed, etc. at hand and be willing to show the horses if requested. But I would not contact this agency any more than you must. Don't do anything to irritate a gov't weenie with a bit of power. It could be like kicking a sleeping dragon in the backside. It might feel good at the time but you may not be happy with the results. Hopefully this will all blow over.
    Horses in the rain? Honestly! If that were a crime God would be in jail.
         
        02-04-2013, 09:51 AM
      #58
    Weanling
    First, I hope you didn't read this as I was attacking you. Just trying to help. I was in a situation some years ago where I was falsely accused of something by someone trying to "get" me and learned a lot from that experience.

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by chubbypony    
    First off we knew she was there because someone complained that we had horses out in the rain. She told the guy who rents the house that.
    Exactly my point. According to what you wrote, you were never given any "official" notification. The "guy" could have the story completely wrong. If the "complaint" was that serious, you would receive a call, visit - or more likely - something in writing on official letterhead.

    Quote:
    Also she told us we NEEDED to call her. We didnt want to not call then have her show up again or something.
    Perhaps I misunderstood. Did someone in an official capacity, showing legitimate identification actually speak with _you_ and notify you of a specific complaint? If not, you have no obligation to call anyone. Hearing it from "the guy who rents a house" is not the same thing.

    Again, if the complaint and investigating agency was legitimate they will notify you in a proper manner. There are procedures they are required to follow, and telling a third party to notify you is not one of them.

    Quote:
    She went on the property and looked around she told my mom today that she didnt go in the barn but that she has the authority to look around the property.
    Just because they tell you that doesn't make it true (neither does it make it a lie). If your mom spoke to this person, what exactly was the complaint? Before you do anything else, you need to find out exactly what the "problem" is.

    Are you being accused of leaving horses out in the rain? If so, ask the person if there is a law against that (I guarantee there is not). I believe you mentioned the horses had available shelter. If you get flack about leaving the horses out in the "elements" you could simply point out that there is adequate shelter available.

    You can also note that all of this is plainly visible from the road. There is no reason for anyone to enter your property without permission or your knowledge to see if horses are outside in a field and/or have access to shelter. Again, the person making the complaint theoretically did so from the road. Thus, verification of this claim can also be made from the road. If they feel your horses are being "abused," it is easy enough to knock on the door and ask to see them. Climbing fences, opening gates or entering barns unannounced can be highly dangerous for your horses or the person doing so. I would remind them that your horses do kick. You should probably call the police and tell them about the SPCA people entering your property without notice or permission. This will cover you in the event that they do get hurt and want to sue.

    I am sure SPCA has the right to enter a property - under specific conditions. Not anytime they feel like it. Look at it this way... someone drives by your house and calls the police because "you are running a meth lab" in your garage. The cops cannot drive down and break into your garage based on a random report. They need a _credible_ info source and 99 time out of 100 a warrant. Without that, they may come by and ask some questions. Usually it is the answers to those questions that help them obtain a warrant (regardless of innocence).

    Quote:
    I was very nervous, I admit I've never had this happen to us before and the woman was harsh to us LIKE WE were doing something wrong.
    Therein lies the rub. There are two likely scenarios. The first is that you are dealing with some good, responsible SPCA people. They know their job and don't needlessly harass honest folk who are taking care of their animals. They drive by, see the complaint has no merit and move on to other things.

    Looks like you are dealing with the other scenario... someone with a chip on their shoulder who likes to be a pain in the butt. The more you say to someone like this, the more ammo you give them. They will keep asking questions and your "innocent" answers will easily be twisted by them.

    If someone drove by my place - in any weather - they could easily see from the road that my horses are healthy and well fed (too well fed at the moment). They could also see the barn which is in obviously good repair.

    There are plenty of non-horse people who have no clue and would make an innocent complaint (such as the fly mask situation mentioned in another post). This happens all the time.

    However, if an Animal Control or SPCA person feels the need to start hassling me or sneaking around my property, there is definitely more to the situation than meets the eye. That's when it is time to ask questions (what exactly am I being accused of? Who accused me? May I please get a copy of that in writing so I can properly respond?).

    From what you have written, there is no legitimate complaint (horses out in rain). If they are making a bigger thing out of it, get the complaint in writing and simply have your vet respond that that horses are in good condition and well cared for.
         
        02-04-2013, 12:33 PM
      #59
    Green Broke
    Wouldn't AC or SPCA have work vehicles, with clear markings on them, and not drive a big black SUV?

    If they drive marked vehicles, then this visit was a hoax, and someone was pretending to be an SPCA 'agent' to get a better look at the barn/horses for their own purposes.
         
        02-04-2013, 12:44 PM
      #60
    Weanling
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by VelvetsAB    
    Wouldn't AC or SPCA have work vehicles, with clear markings on them, and not drive a big black SUV?

    If they drive marked vehicles, then this visit was a hoax, and someone was pretending to be an SPCA 'agent' to get a better look at the barn/horses for their own purposes.
    My previous post was already long so I didn't want to get into this, which is another important consideration. Unless the "inspectors" clearly identify themselves and show proper ID, you have no way of know if they are really who they say they are. You have the right and obligation to evaluate the legitimacy of all of this.

    Ever call your credit card company with a question? They ask for a hundred details to prove you are really you. My credit card company called me a few months ago for me to verify a charge... they started by asking for my SS number. I explained that they called me and I have no way of knowing they are who they claim to be. I gave no information and told them I would call back using the number printed on the card itself.

    It may sound paranoid, but I have been the (unsuccessful) target of identity theft more than one and had my credit card numbers stolen a few times. There are plenty of unsavory people out there and you cannot be too careful.

    I could buy a badge, print a phony ID and show up at your barn with a horse trailer - "I'm from the SPCA and here is the paperwork showing I must take your horse into custody." All based on a "complaint" that my partner in crime made. Better yet, I could let you keep your horse and let the complaint disappear for a mere $50 or $100 "donation." Too easy to get away with.
         

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