Pet Limitation Violates Constitutional Rights - Saving Our Gang Rescue Dogs
I can not express my feelings enough for the disparagement I have towards the past Miami Township Council members for imposing onto the community their respectively concern for the health and safety of Miami Township residents through a three pet limit for homeowners with property less than five acres, as well to the current council members for keeping such a draconian law in their ordinances. The functionality of three pet limit for single family residence under five acres is beyond the concept quality over quantity. There are households containing one pet who can/will not provide the more essential needs of a pet besides food and shelter. Whereas an individual who is/has devoted their time and effort maintaining to the well-being of animals in need.
Our Gang Rescue is being forced by Miami Township to reduce the number of adoptable rescued dogs down to their restricted three.
The dogs are within the home. They are not keep outside as residential dogs, all dogs are treated as part of the family. This is to have the adoptable dogs accustomed to living in a house and the expectations of being in a home. There are dogs of one-dog families, dogs kept outside of the home, and dogs living on acreage not treated as well.
For those who think the simply solution is placing pets into shelters for adoption, apparently you haven’t gotten the memo – Not all animals are adopted or rescued out of shelters. For too many die. They are killed because they don’t do will living a shelter life, they are killed because they are deemed aggressive by the shelter workers, they are killed because they get sick at the shelters, but mostly they are killed because their time is up.
What’s wrong with limit laws? — Specific numbers are arbitrary, inflexible and do not reflect varied circumstances, capabilities and motivations of owners. Limits artificially restrict the number of homes for animals as well as personal choice and privacy. Limit laws are typically enforced through informant complaints — from neighbors, others with grievances or even visitors rather than systematic investigation of animal owners. The methods and forum of enforcement depends on the specific applicable law and to some extent, the local political climate and status of the parties and animals.
The United States Constitution promises all of us the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness and protections from wrongful seizures of personal property. For many Americans, companion animals are a very personal form of happiness. In fact many of us feel our pet companions are like our children. Arbitrary removal of a family animal from a loving home for no logical reason, and then subjecting the same animal to diseases, including but not limited to, kennel cough, mental duress, emotional distress and/ or euthanasia at an animal shelter, can be construed to be in violation of our personal rights, thus justifying further damages in a court of law.
Furthermore, the First Amendment protects all individuals' right to religious liberty. Many have bless me to continue doing what I'm doing because it's God's work. I believe I have a personal obligation and a responsibility to protect and respect these animals and is prepared to take it to a higher court if necessary.
The US Supreme Court and many State courts have ruled pet limits to be in violation of the United States Constitution for many of the reasons listed above:
In Louisiana, a judge ruled that "the ordinance violates residents' property rights",
The US Supreme Court has issued a series of decisions over the last several years that, taken as a whole, have elevated the rights of property owners to a limited degree versus State or city power.
District Court Judge Thomas P. Knapp in Minnesota ruled, "The court finds that ownership of dogs and other pets is a property right which is protected by the Constitution, He said that the city failed to provide relevant evidence that the laws were needed. The plaintiffs are not required to comply with unconstitutional laws and thus were not obliged to obtain the unanimous approval of neighbors before keeping their dogs. Furthermore, the judge found that the Constitution does protect pet ownership. He declared the laws unconstitutional and enjoined the city from enforcement. (Holt v. City of Sauk Rapids, 1997).
In Pennsylvania an ordinance that limited residents to five pets was also ruled against. The judge quoted from Kadash v. City of Williamsport, 1975: "What is not an infringement upon public safety and is not a nuisance cannot be made one by legislative fiat and then prohibited. Even legitimate legislative goals cannot be pursued by means which stifle fundamental personal liberty when the goals can otherwise be more reasonably achieved." This was later supported by the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania. the following statute was cited: Municipal Corporations 589 268k589
"In reviewing law enacted pursuant to municipality's police power, court must determine that goal sought to be achieved is legitimate and that means used to achieve that goal are reasonably necessary and not unduly oppressive." (Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. Creighton, 1994)
Better Solutions Are Available.
Strongly enforced animal control laws, nuisance regulations requiring pet owners to be respectful of neighbors and society, and increased public education efforts are all better ways to address the issue of irresponsible dog ownership.
Effective leash and curbing laws would prevent irresponsible owners from letting their pets run loose, possibly endangering the public and other animals.
Clean-up ordinances, as well as noise, odor and nuisance regulations, would require all pet owners to take responsibility for their animals and recognize their obligations to society.
For those who do violate nuisance and laws, alternative sentencing in the form of community service at an animal shelter or participation in obedience classes would help correct irresponsible behavior.
Use of an arbitrator to mediate neighborhood animal disputes would help settle personal arguments that are not indicative of an animal control problem.
A public education campaign would help teach community residents how to properly care for and interact with pets, as well as the need to be a courteous neighbor.
please sign the petition and hare / repost - help spread the word. Our Gang Rescue's time is short. However we can prevent this violation of rights and discriminatory action towards other future household pets being forced into a homeless status and needing rescue